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Turkish dramas play key role in 'soft power' says minister

Istanbul Television Forum hears how Turkish TV exports provide 'a voice in the world'

Turkish dramas play key role in 'soft power' says minister


Turkey's exports of home-grown television dramas plays a key role in wielding soft power in across the region, a Turkish culture minister has claimed.

By creating a lasting influence on Turkey's image in the region, wildly popular dramas are among the country's most well-known economic and cultural exports, said Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik on Thursday.

Celik was speaking at the ITVF Istanbul Television Forum and Fair which was held in Istanbul on Thursday.

Turkish television series have been sold in over 100 countries, contributing to a boom in the country’s domestic television industry. In 2012, Turkish soap opera exports were worth around US$200 million, up from US$10,000 in 2004, Celik said. 

Stating that the most dynamic sector in the world is broadcasting, Celik said that it shaped the cultural and economic life of many people's ordinary day.

"It is vital that pluralism finds itself in broadcasting as pluralism is the key factor for a dynamic culture. If a country rejects cultural diversity and tries to form a mono-type society, it will be impossible for that country to have a voice in the world," he said.

Underlining that the world is a 'global village', Celik said it would be wrong to become isolated in order to preserve national culture. 

Zahid Akman, chair of the Association of Television Broadcasters, praised the success of Turkish TV dramas saying: "We're particularly proud to see that Turkish dramas are broadcast in 130 countries across the world, which means Turkish culture and life is shared with many people of different cultures."

One particular success story has been that of 'The Magnificent Century', one of the most popular Turkish television dramas which tells the life of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

The show has proved highly popular both in Turkey and internationally, being broadcast in 43 countries and watched by over 200 million people. 


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