Turkish TV series are breaking ratings records in Afghanistan, where Indian series were once mostly broadcast.
Afghans enjoy watching action, crime, romance and drama shows as they see Turkish culture and the Turkish family structure as similar to their own.
Afghan television, which is sensitive in the selection of series, prefers those that are suitable for Afghan culture to avoid a backlash from Islamic communities and Taliban supporters.
- Locals like to watch
Turkish TV series are translated and broadcast in Persian and Pashto among 50 local and national TV channels in Afghanistan.
One such series, ‘Dirilis Ertugrul’, known as ‘Uprising in Afghanistan’, tells the story of how the Ottoman Empire was established and is broadcast on three channels once a week.
‘Cukur’ (Pit) is another favored Turkish series in Afghanistan. Broadcast on the Tolo channel, it has high ratings and its impact can also be seen in daily life.
Other well-known series include ‘Paramparca’ (Shattered), ‘Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki’ (As Time Passes By), ‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’ (Magnificent Century) and ‘Sen Anlat Karadeniz’ (You Tell Me Black Sea).
- Influence of popular culture on fashion
Icons and characters from Turkish series are printed on t-shirts and sweaters to attract more followers.
Turkish TV series have a considerable impact on Afghan people, store owner Milad Ahmad Giyasi in Kabul told Anadolu Agency.
Giyasi said he orders clothes printed with related icons and characters as they are preferred more than casual clothing.
- Impact on bilateral relationship
Cultural, historical and religious similarities between Turkey and Afghanistan have led to high demand for Turkish products, said Caner Bozat, commercial counselor at Turkey’s embassy in Kabul.
“While Turkish products are rated in the high price segment and appeal to high-income groups, we have observed that demand for Turkish products has increased from the middle- and lower-income groups as a result of the effects of the Turkish series,” Bozat said.
He said most Afghans want to visit Turkey and see the places shown in the series.
“We can see that Turkish TV series have started being watched via satellite or on the internet through Turkish channels, which leads to children willing to learn and speak Turkish,” he added.
*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay ZonturAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.