Ayesha Ozdemir – Dear Murat Tolga Sen, What was the film like about the TV series in the 1970s?
Television broadcasting, which began in Turkey in 1968 with TRT’s experimental broadcast, dates back to the 70’s, and now TRT producers are scrambling to create local content. Our first domestic TV series is “Aşk-ı Memnu”, taken from the work of Halit Zia Ushakligil, shot in 1974. “Aşk-ı Memnu”, starring Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Beren Saat, was shot many years later, including the remake of the most-watched TV series in Turkish TV history. Until the 90’s there was only one channel. TRT was broadcasting the classic work mini-series of Turkish novelists. At that time, there were at most 6 or 8 episodes. The story had a beginning and an end. When it was over, another job was being adapted.
Which local TV series influenced society the most at that time?
Tekin Akmansay’s “Mother-in-law” series. “Mother-in-law” has been seen for a long time. We saw the funny situation of a family who had a land source, who became rich after immigration to Istanbul, who did not break their roots and tried to adapt to a prosperous life. It was a feeling that inspired our people who wanted to reach a more prosperous new life in the 70’s. At the time, TRT aired many foreign TV series, a science fiction series called “The Man with মিল 6 Million”, a TV series called “The Fugitive”, and when “Kakak” aired in Turkey, the streets were empty. Our habit of watching TV series is not an event of last 5-10 years, people in Turkey have been watching TV series since the day they were seen on TV. Also, because of the social events of the 70’s, watching television was the safest way to entertain. It kept the family together. That is why television has been adopted very fast in our country.
What was the atmosphere like for TV series in Turkey in the 80’s?
Domestic production continued in the 80s. In the 80’s, TV series like Kuruntu Family, Asimak, Atesten Shirt, Calicusu, Leap to Heart, Today’s Saraisi were seen on TRT. The TV series was “Eagles Fly High”, it was a very expensive production, there was a TV series called “Other Ocars, the Wedding of the Aghas”. In the 70’s, television was challenging the throne of Yesilcom, but in the 80’s, television became more important as many cinema halls were closed under martial law. We meet color television in the 80’s. The first color TV series ‘Shogun’.
How do you rate the 90s?
The full spread of television in the society took place in the 90’s. At that time, every home had a color television, and in the 90’s, TRT was no longer just a channel, TRT 2 and TRT 3. It was also seen on private television in the nineties. The introduction of our private channels in our lives has also made some difference, they have broadcast uncensored movies. The number of serials continued to increase in the nineties. For example, we have “us” which started in 1989 and continued till 2002. There is “Perihan Abala”, it is thought to be a 90’s series, but it started in 1986. The most popular TV series of the 90’s were “Muhtaras of the Neighborhood” and “Super Baba”. Ferhunde Hanımlar, hnehnaz Tango, Snake Story, We’re Together even if we’re separated, Black Melek, Sıdıka have deeply influenced us. The ancestors of TV series such as “Crazy Heart”, “Bandit Dose Not Rule the World”, which was founded on the ideals of youth, also appeared in the late 90’s.
Will Behlul agree with another Bihtar?
Murat Tolga Sen made the following assessment of the most watched TV series “Aşk-ı Memnu” in our TV history:
“Aşk-ı Memnu is a very strong part, there is a family that the visitors think lives in prosperity and happiness. But in the life of this rich family, there are both paradoxes and workers living downstairs who serve that family. The work establishes the caste structure of a society in the palace. It contains a very powerful “forbidden love” story. This is why viewers loved the series, which was shot in 1974 and early 2000s. Of course the popular actors of the time who took part in this series are partners in this interest. What happens if a new Aşk-ı Memnu is shot? The TV series, shot in the 2000s, kept Aşk-ı Memnu in mind, and I don’t think viewers want to see any more.
‘We have several productive sectors’
Murat Tolga Sen evaluates the export of Turkish TV series to the world after the US TV series as follows: “There is a subtlety in this matter. The American TV series travels the world, but the circulation of Turkish TV series is limited to most Arab and Latin countries. Yes, we export a lot of cereals, but our cereals are a little cheaper. For example, the global revenue from the Game of Thrones series is several times higher than the revenue from all our TV series. So our producers cannot earn a lot of foreign exchange. Our dramas get higher ratings than them, especially in Latin America. Some domestic TV series are also filmed with viewers in mind. In some Arab countries, Turkish TV series are banned. To overcome this, our producers shoot Turkish TV series with Arab actors like Arab TV series. For example, the ‘Istanbul Bride’ series was shot for Arab countries as ‘Bride from Beirut’. While our producers are trying to circumvent these restrictions, we have a very active and productive sector. Digital platforms also support this issue. However, the duration of the 2.5-3 hour series on the national channel exhausts both the viewers, the producers and the workers working on the set. I think urgent steps should be taken in this regard. “
‘Harem always attracts attention’
Murat Tolga sen says the following about “Muhteşem Yüzyil”: “Actually, period dramas are usually part of TRT, because they are big budget productions. The Magnificent Century drew attention as a period drama, directed towards the palace and entering the harem. Because the harem is still a mysterious structure and the stories centered around it draw attention. The historical dramas that we still see show that the audience is interested in this subject. At the moment a lot of powerful work is being done in terms of decoration, costumes, lighting, acting. In the domestic historical TV series, venue design and costumes that are not like the foreign TV series can be created. ”
The US-made foreign series has also left an unforgivable mark in Turkey. In addition to the TV series Dallas, Star Trek, Charles Angels, Little House, Kung-Fu, Commissioner Colombo, Blue Moon, Brazilian production Isoura the Slave attracted a lot of attention. What a curse JL Ewing, the villain of the Dallas series, got from our viewers.