What is the key to the success of the Turkish series?


Scene from ‘Love is in the air’, with Hande Erçel and Kerem Bürsin.
Telecinco

The turkish series have become a whole boom in Spain, but not only in our country they are successful. They have been successful outside of Turkey for years, especially in Latin America, where there is a tradition of production and monitoring of soap operas. However, there is much more to Turkish series than soap operas. They are characterized by a diversity of genres -drama, comedy, tragedy, police, black, suspense or romantic- sometimes mixed in the same work and always approached in a simple way and from a universal perspective, so they have the ability to connect with everyone.

What does it mean that its content is universal?

This is something that has always been said of the great literati. In essence, it implies that they are about great topics that interest everyone, that is, about everyday life: family, love and work.

In reality, we also find this in Latin American soap operas, which lived their golden age in Spain between the mid-80s and the 90s of the last century. However, the Turks have another point. They are more contemporary, close and European, although they also reflect a society full of traditions. Too that load of tradition, which marks some differences with our usual environment, adds a degree of exoticism that captivates the viewer. In a way, seen through the eyes of many Spaniards, the expression of these customs is linked to our close cultural memory, as if it were a kind of time travel to times not too distant from our life trajectory.

How has the Turkish industry managed to conquer the world?

The empire of the Turkish series has been built on the basis of good creative work, from the scripts to the actors and, above all, with the audiovisual bill. Despite being close and everyday stories, they are great productions. They have good acting professionals who manage to transmit and fall in love. Many and many are quite pleasant to look at, of attractive beauty, sometimes with a touch of exoticism.

All productions are designed for Turkish prime time, that is, to keep the population glued to the television on Saturday afternoons and nights with episodes of two hours that in Spain we cannot resist and they are split into 45-minute episodes. Therefore, here the Turkish series have more than one hundred chapters. In Turkey they are less, but they last longer.

It is true that sometimes it seems that the plots are moving slowly, as if to artificially lengthen them when they are successful. At other times, it seems that the action and even the end were rushed. The reason for this must be found in the fact that the scriptwriters of the series work to the blow of audience figures. If the audience is good, they try to keep the plot of success as long as possible. If it goes down, they look for new turns until they hit the key. Sometimes the writing team is even completely changed in an attempt to reconcile with the lost audience. This has happened, for example, with the series ‘Sen Çal Kapimi’, the comedy titled in Spain ‘Love is in the air’, starring the actor Kerem Bürsin and the actress Hande Erçel.

‘Love is in the air’ is an example of the diversity of genres of Turkish series, as it tells the story in the key of comedy, with twists of drama in some episodes. Most of the series that have reached Spain, on the other hand, are rather part of the drama. It was a drama ‘Fatmagül’, the first Turkish series that conquered the Spanish audience thanks to Atresmedia in 2017. Then they came ‘Smuggling love’, ‘Mother’, ‘Woman’, ‘My daughter’, ‘My home is my destiny’ or the most recent ‘Bitter Land’, who has managed to unseat ‘Save me’.

Some surprising details

In Turkey there is censorship. Because, it is rare to see in Turkish series love scenes with screw kisses, hugs and nudes, bed or nudity. As far as possible, the passion is contained and the kisses turn into chaste brushing of lips on the forehead or cheek, especially if the couple is not married. Censorship also means that many times, when actors drink alcohol, the glass and the bottle are blurred.

These details that have to do with Turkish censorship make his series in Spain suitable for all audiences.

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