This globalisation proves a point of an inevitable common sense Turkish series distribute to the audience whom never heard of a single Turkish word before. With the help of the technology, the audience welcomes productions from all over the world. But the question is; why the popularity of Turkish drama increased so drastically? One of the most acknowledged answer to that matter is the production values. Turkish dramas’ every each episode shot in a unique way, although each week the production has the obligation to put together a two and a half hours of an episode, that is to say, each week a Turkish series must put together a film-like, long episode. Only to think about this, either it serves one’s taste or not, one thing is for sure: undeniable hours of work behind it.

Turkish TV productions have some values in common. For example, the concept of family is mostly on the foreground. Whether it is a family that shows dependence or commitment or it is a family that is shadowed in the background that shows traumas, the concept of family is there. And secondly, the concept of love is indeed the main subject when we examine the Turkish drama. But, as it is cited before; nothing beats a love triangle. Life is not always pink skies in the world Turkish producers create, and with the characters, the audience is able to grasp the drama behind.

Usually, Turkish productions takes place in the heart of Turkey, Istanbul. If it is not a necessity, Turkish dramas are mostly shot in the city, rather than the set locations. All the glamorous buildings, the amazing sea views with Bosphorus that connects Europe to Asia, and the scenery is mostly the beautiful things in a city that delivers artistic scenery. Furthermore, the audience abroad has seen variety of cities, rather than only İstanbul.

Despite the fact the common knowledge of Turkey reflects Istanbul, traditional Turkish productions visibility rates are growing rapidly. For example Sıla, produced in 2006, was shot in a very local, poetic and picturesque city that is located in the Southern part of Turkey; Midyat, was once a territory for Christian community named Syriacs. Midyat is one of the oldest cities of upper Mesopotamia and this very unique atmosphere contains historical stone mansions, picturesque endless fields and also iconic memorization of dusty yellow colour in every little corner. And today, this eclectic city is home both to Christians and the Muslims.

Even though the customs, traditions and rules differ so much more comparing to a Western part of Turkey. Sıla managed to attract foreign eyes. The series has the authentic features such as the big mansions people live in, the concepts such as “bride exchange”, and of course, love we witness.

Today, after thirteen years from Sıla, another world-wide known Turkish title Hercai (top image) is a sensation from the very first episode it aired in Turkey. Hercai, was not translated into English since it has an intrinsic meaning that refers to a person who has a change in heart. Both of the series was merely local from all perspectives, but it had a distinct essence so that the success came within. The story was revolved around the customs that apply mostly in the Anatolian part of Turkey.

While we try examining the success of the two titles, here are some similarities between them. Both of the series bring local touches from Southern side of Turkey. The set location of Hercai takes place in timeless poetic city of Turkey, Mardin – Midyat, where our bestseller drama Sıla shot as well. And today, another title called Maria and Mustafa tells a love story that is completely love by chance is also shot in the Anatolian region, Cappadocia. These lands have their own cinematic structures that soothes the eye, and when the characters take the audience to next level, the success follows. The importance of women, in a men-dominated world, shows a different type of world from a different perspective.

Even though these customs are pretty unfamiliar, the very essence of love reflects the fact that however different we are from each other, the innocence of love is a shared value, globally. Men in these lands are already intimidating to women, but having them to be the landlords, they have different kind of power structure. And, the audience witnesses their fragile side that comes with them falling in love. Also, the sub-stories are as powerful as the main storyline and it helps to increase variety of represented themes.

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Two different time zones, two different titles from the same region… Sıla and Hercai. Two productions that are so local by their stories, and yet the success is global. Sıla was acquired by more than 100 countries worldwide and it became the highest rated series per by day wherever it was broadcasted. Hercai reached out to 30 and many more countries worldwide within such a short time.

From that point until now, both of the series accomplished a lot not only locally, but also globally. As a matter of fact, the success is not only on TV screens, but their subscriptions on digital platforms escalated inevitably. For example, Hercai’s YouTube subscribers hit 1 million only in 28 days, and now they have 3 million individuals.

On 15th October 2019, during MIPCOM, Hercai had its Networking Session and Q&A with the directors and leading actors and actresses, one of the speakers was from Atres Media, Jose Antonio Salsa Baratas the Head of Acquisitions and Sales, declared that Hercai is the modern day Sıla as being family oriented series that have intimate characters truly matching with the actors and actress.

Although the year we are facing came with serious health struggles, Turkish drama is still managing to grow in the market. The local productions take all the necessary measurements, keeping the showbiz alive.

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About Author

Emre Gorentas is working in the TV industry since 2007. He has completed the first 5 years of work in production and post production as well as couple of different departments. He is working on Content Distribution from 2013 and he is Content Sales Deputy Manager of ATV / Turkey now

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