Turkish TV Serials Captivate Global Audiences

A decade ago, Turkish TV channels used to purchase almost all their films, shows and entertainment programs from abroad. Others domestic productions were licensed from abroad as well.

The idea of selling TV series or programs seemed like a far-fetched idea in those days. Then, a few domestic TV serials were sold for "symbolic" prices like $30 to $50 per episode to Middle Eastern and Turkish speaking countries. In 2004, the revenue from the export of TV shows was less than 10,000 dollars.

True movie buffs and film critics do not like this fact, but the Turkish TV series industry, built around the nation’s film industry, has rapidly grown in recent years. Moreover, Turkish TV productions have become some of the leading actors in this field.

Turkish TV shows, which were initially watched mainly in the Middle East, are now being purchased by TV stations in Central Europe, Balkans, Middle East and South America.

TV Soap Opera Exports Reach $300 Million

A research conducted in relation to 2010-2018 broadcast seasons revealed that there are 100 Turkish production companies that had at least one production broadcast on a major TV channel. Of these, 21 companies had 5 or more TV shows on the air.

In 2017, Turkey's TV serial exports reached $300 million. The domestic production companies aim for $1 Billion foreign sales in 2023, the centennial anniversary of the Turkey. In the global arena, Turkey is second only to the U.S, and is rapidly moving towards closing this gap.

Globally, TV show exports increase by 4.5% annually. In Turkey, this rate is above 20%.

Hundreds of Millions Watch Turkish serials in 85 Countries

Today, hundreds of millions of people in 85 countries are glued to their television sets to watch serialized Turkish dramas.

In the U.S., Turkish soap operas are broadcast on various ethnic TV stations, on satellite TV and digital platforms in dozens of languages, and reach millions.

"The Magnificent Century," a popular drama about the 16th century Ottoman Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent, is broadcast on Mundomax, a TV channel which is broadcast in Spanish in the U.S., and reaches millions of viewers.

According to Hakan Çizem, an entrepreneur who founded DHF, one of the first platforms that made ethnic broadcasts, says : "It is in the US where Turkish serials will become a sensation."

Emphasizing that Turkish productions improved significantly in quality and became popular in global markets, Çizem says, "The interest in Turkish shows will increase in the U.S., where ethnic people constitute the majority of the audience, and they are sure to become a sensation."

"The Magnificent Century", a Turkish production which tells the story of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, was viewed by more than 400 million people in 60 countries.

Some Of The Countries Where Turkish Productions Are Broadcast

Afghanistan, Albania, , Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia Indonesia, , Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Montenegro, , Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Morocco, South Korea, Macedonia, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the US, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.

Some Turkish Shows Exported

Adını Feriha Koydum (I Named Her Feriha), Annem (My Mother), Arka Sokaklar (Back Streets), Asi (Rebel), Aşk-ı Memnu, Azad, Benden Baba Olmaz (I Could Never Be A Father), Berivan, Bir Bulut Olsam (I Wish I Were A Cloud), Bütün Çocuklarım, (All My Children) Candan Öte (Beyond Life), Çemberimde Gül Oya (The Rose In My Circle), Düğün Şarkıcısı (Wedding Song), Elveda Derken (While Saying Farewell), Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne? (What Was Fatmagül’s Guilt?), Fırtına (Storm), Gece Gündüz (Day And Night), Genco, Geniş Zamanlar (Long Times), Gümüş (Silver), Hanımın Çiftliği (The Lady’s Farm), Haziran Gecesi (June Night), Ihlamurlar Altında (Under the Linden Trees), İki Aile (Two Families), Kampusistan (Campus Country), Kavak Yelleri (Birch Winds), Kaybolan Yıllar (Lost Years), Keşanlı Ali Destanı (The Epic Of Ali of Keşan), Kınalı Kar (Henna Snow), Kod Adı (Code Name), Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of the Wolves), Kuzey Güney (North South), Küçük Kadınlar (Small Women), Küçük Sırlar (Small Secrets), Menekşe and Halil, Muhteşem Yüzyıl (The Magnificent Century), Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki (Time Passes Suddenly), Sağır Oda (The Deaf Room), Sonbahar (Autumn), Türkan, Unutabilsem(If I Could Only Forget), Vazgeç Gönlüm (To Renounce My Heart), Yaprak Dökümü (The Falling Leaves), Yılan Hikayesi (Unsolved Problems), Yol (Road).

Turkish Companies Enter Digital Gaming Market

One of the service areas which developed rapidly in recent years is the digital gaming sector. Turkey's share in the digital gaming market, which reached $150 Billion globally, is very small at the moment, but it is growing rapidly.

There are about 30 significant companies in the Turkish gaming market, which has a size of around $500 million, but new players are about to enter the game. The sector's exports have reached $400 million yearly.

In addition to entertainment, there is a significant growth in the digital simulation sub-sector. Particularly in the aviation and defense industries, the domestic simulation applications are becoming more and more wide-spread every day.