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Why Do We Watch Turkish Dramas?

Many people all around the world are going crazy over Turkish dramas. Many people don’t understand this addiction though.

We see many news about Turkish drama invasion in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Turkish dramas have been exported to over 100 countries and Turkey has become the world’s second highest exporter of TV series after the US, with over $200 million annual exports (in 2014).

So, what makes Turkish dramas so popular around the world?

We have gathered some reasons to watch Turkish dramas. Please send us your reason to watch Turkish dramas so that we can improve our list by considering different perspectives.

1. Similarity in Cultures. Many people watch Turkish dramas because they are telling stories that they used to. The culture in Turkish dramas, more or less, is similar to that of Middle Eastern countries, Balkans, and even Latin American countries. In Turkish dramas, we see so many times the respect for elder people. The last word is said by the eldest person at the house. Family relations are so important unlike American series. Thus, there are many scenes related with parents, strong mother-in-laws, supportive parents etc. Also, love scenes rarely progress past kissing. In fact, even seeing a French kiss in a Turkish drama is newsworthy. It is so emotional to watch the main couple finally hold hands after several episodes.

Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yuzyil)

2.Plot. Many people watch Turkish dramas just because they have different plots than the Western series. These stories are different and therefore they are more exciting. Turkish dramas are so emotional. They touch your heart. Today’s best American shows avoid sentimentality. However, in Turkish dramas, you explore the lives of ordinary people. You become happy when the leads succeed something and you want the couples to disclose their loves eventually.

Additionally, many popular Turkish dramas as based on popular Turkish novels. For instance, Forbidden Love (Aski Memnu) is the book of Halit Ziya Usakligil, Fall of the Leaves (Yaprak Dokumu) is the book of Resat Nuri Guntekin, Lovebird (Calikusu) is the book of Resat Nuri Güntekin, From Lips to Heart (Dudaktan Kalbe) is the book of Resat Nuri Guntekin; Kurt Seyit and Shura (Kurt Seyit ve Sura) is the book of Nermin Sezmen, From Fatih to Harbiye (Fatih Harbiye) is the book of Peyami Safa and so on.

Forbidden Love (Aski Memnu)

From Lips to Heart (Dudaktan Kalbe)

3.Handsome Actors and Beautiful Actresses. The stars in Turkish dramas are very attractive. Whether they are blonde or dark, the male leads in Turkish dramas are always HOT and HANDSOME and CHARMING etc. Female leads are very BEAUTIFUL. Even those in minor roles look like models so you do not mind seeing their faces for 2 hours. In recent years, American series have sacrificed beauty for the sake of reality. However, in Turkish dramas, we continue to see gorgeous looking people.

Cagatay Ulusoy

Tuba Buyukustun

4.Scenes of Turkey. Most of the Turkish dramas take place in Istanbul. There are also other Turkish dramas that take place in other parts of Turkey. For instance, Vine Mansion (Asmali Konak) and Love in the Sky (Yer Gok Ask) were shot in Cappadocia; Remember Darling (Hatirla Sevgili) was shot in Prince Islands; Coming Home (Sila) was shot in Mardin; Black Rose (Karagul) was shot in Sanliurfa etc. There are many scenes from the beauties of Turkey. It is like visiting Turkey. Many people wish to go the shooting places of Turkish dramas after watching Turkish dramas.

1001 Nights (Binbir Gece)

Black Rose (Karagul)

5.Acting. In Turkish dramas, even though we see many attractive stars, their acting is always convincing and realistic. The actors seem like real people whom you could actually meet and interact with. They seem more relatable and human than the actors who seem really untouchable. Both actors and actresses touch our heart. They successfully pass their feelings to us.

Is there anyone who did not cry for the following scenes?

Death of Sehzade Mustafa – Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yuzyil)

Death of Bihter – Forbidden Love (Aski Memnu)

Death of Seyit’s Family – Kurt Seyit and Shura (Kurt Seyit ve Sura)

6.Language. Watching Turkish dramas is like free Turkish lessons for foreigners. You will know several Turkish works like “sorry”, “thanks” , “hello” and you will be able to confess your love by saying “seni seviyorum”.

7.Music. The music and the feeling it creates is a big part of why Turkish dramas appeal to a lot of people from different cultures. To compliment the moments and scenes portrayed in dramas, original soundtracks are often specially composed and played alongside those scenes. Do you remember the soundtracks of Fall of the Leaves (Yaprak Dokumu) or Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yuzyil) or Ertugrul Resurrection (Dirilis Ertugrul) or Aliye or What is Fatmagul’s Fault (Fatmagulun Sucu Ne)?

Soundtrack Album of Inside (Icerde) by Toygar Isikli

8.Cultural appeal. Some people even watch Turkish dramas to learn a different culture. You learn about societal norms, different values and cultural practices by watching the day to day life of the characters. If you watch Turkish drama, you will learn that shoes are taken off at the door, you organize henna night before the wedding ceremony, you kiss the hands of the elder people in special occasions like eids, festivals etc.

Henna Night from Eid and Tide (Medcezir)

 

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21 comments

  1. The Turkish dramas have some sexy scenes without actors taking off clothes . Example – 2 scenes from Seyet & Sura where they are taking bath with clothes on or sheet wrapped around them.

    Costumes, scenery and consideration of viewers are outstanding reasons to watch Turkish dramas — not to mention outstanding acting. I’ve only seen two, both with English subtitles, but I wish they all had English translations — especially those with actors from Seyet & Sura.

    • Yes, you are right. Turkish dramas that are shown on TV cannot have passionate sex scenes because there is a Turkish Broadcasting Authority which regulates broadcasting sector. Turkish Broadcasting Authority can give penalty to broadcasting networks or producers for not considering family values, social values etc. For example, Forbidden Love (Aski Memnu) was penalized for showing passionate sex scenes for too long. Therefore, recently there are Turkish dramas that are shown on online platforms only. You can check it out new Turkish drama Phi (Fi) which is broadcasted online at puhutv.com

  2. I love watching Asian drama,one of the reason that I like Turkish drama is that female leads aren’t so naive and stupid. In other asian drama like korean and chinese, most female lead are so pure and innocent, everyone bully them, but they never speak up for themselves, and they need a man’s protection.But in Turkish dramas that I watched, female talk back to people who bully them, they speak up for themeselves. And another is that even in Turkish drama they respect elders, but it doesnt mean that elders can disrepect young people unlike other Asian drama that reach parents always throw money or water at other people and insult them, but younger should just keep their head down and don’t say anything.

    • Yes, you are totally right. In Turkish dramas, we can see some passionate female leads like Hurrem Sultan at Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yuzyil) and Bihter at Forbidden Love (Aski Memnu). Even some very pure/innocent female leads can be strong. For example, in Turkish drama named Silver (Gumus), we see that the female lead comes from a small town and she represents purity. But, we see that she becomes a strong business women eventually.

  3. Love Turkish dramas/series! Resonates in many respects with aboriginal cultures as well in terms of respect for elders and respect in general. Story lines are down to earth….real issues….so different from american shows…..enjoyable romantic shows….don’t watch american shows much any longer for past year and half…..

  4. My mom watches Turkish dramas because they are excellent in all respects and at the same time, it is the cheapest way of entertainment.

  5. Turkish people also learn so many different cultural practices, values and societal norms in different parts of the country. In the past, tribe-based Turkish dramas that tell the stories going on in the East-South part of Turkey was very popular such as Coming Home (Sila) and Black Rose (Karagul). Vine Mansion (Asmali Konak) that takes place in Cappadocia was also telling the story of the family of agha. Many Turkish people also learnt different cultural practices or taboos in this part of the country by watching Turkish dramas.

  6. Suspense, suspense, suspense, expectation and excitement at the end of every episode, particularly end of seasons……

  7. Genius of scenarists for imposing suspense, expectation and excitement in the end of every episode, particularly end of each seasons, which always make spectators always want to wait and never give up to continue watching episodes even if they will wait for several months till the beginning of the new seasons

  8. So far, the only problem watching Turkish drama is when the series ends leaving the viewer stranded. I have a pretty good imagination, but, I wish the series had not ended so soon as in INTERSECTION & lOVE & PUNISHMENT. I find the plots much more interesting than in American TV; I appreciate there is not raw sex nor a lot of foul language. Having followed up via Google & You Tube for historical information–I wish that there were more episodes to MAGNIFICIENT CENTURY.
    Can we please have more episodes of LOVE & PUNISHMENT & INTERSECTION; also, THE GIRL I LOVE(D).

  9. Gwen Durrenberger

    I left a long comment which was rejected because “I had already posted that”.
    I agree with the numbered comments in the article above, but wish some of the dramas I have viewed–I very much wish the episodes had continued: LOVE & PUNISHMENT, THE GIRL I LOVE, INTERSECTION & MAGNIFICENT CENTURY.

  10. I love Turkish drama ,,,watching ask loaf tan analmaz now a days ,,but plz eng sub title is v imp,,the darama a which dnt AV subtitle,,,can’t understand,I learn many words from daramas.

  11. I also love the Turkish Dramas but what happened to Kacak, 1001 Arabian Nights, Magnificent Century, Love & Punishment, The Girl I loved, Intersection? Are we ever going to be able to the rest of these?

    • I have just finished watching “the girl I love” & I can’t believe it ended where it did, chapter 79! So where is the rest of it? It’s not finished! How is it possible after watching hrs upon hrs, & there no conclusion to this story! This is wrong in every level, it’s rude, it’s devastating! The same with the last one, I watched “Kurt & Sura”. I’m devastated! To whom ever it may concern, could you have the disency to let’s us know the program has no ending! So we don’t waste our time watching them!
      I have not posted any comments before!

  12. I want to know why Karadayi only showed 93 episodes of
    115 on Netflix? Like everyone else says,, this is just
    wrong. I like Turkish programs because the reality of
    the scenes is so much better. A little too much overacting
    and formulaic writing but pretty good.

  13. ORIGINAL! WE WILL LEARN TURKISH IF NO SUBTITLE . NETFLIX ? WHAT CAN I SAY, ONLY HALF OF ALL THE SERIES,,SHAME ON THEM.

  14. Marijane Stomberg

    I love the Turkish shows, movies, episodes because they have such beautiful women in them as well as very charismatic, handsome men as in Kurt and Sura. Interesting how they all look like models; then I read that so many of them started out as great models in Turkey, like Kivanc and Cellil! I find it very interesting to observe the customs, the family appreciation so prevalent in these shows. So encouraging to see how the family works together, lives together, is community-minded, how strong the women are even though they are subservient to the men. That is quite the opposite in the United States; still, I was amazed at how that was handled. This is a great way to learn more history of Turkey and how strong its people were. Kurt & Sura is a Masterpiece of work and all the actors in it wear supremely talented — all of them.

    • So true! I now can only watch Turkish programs…but am totally frustrated that Netflix only purchased season one of so many of them!
      Some have a few more episodes on UTube , but very few,
      If only Netflix would do the right thing and add the other seasons!

  15. Marijane Stomberg

    correction: “were supremely talented”

  16. Marijane Stomberg

    While Kivanc Tatlitug raised the pinnacle of success to outrageous heights for his performance in Kurt Seyit and Sura, many bravos and accolades must be shouted for Sura, his love. Farah Zeynep Abdulla’s portrayal of the frustrated Sura showed great talent, a broad range of acting drama — ebullience, rapture, sorrow, the tragedy, as she called upon the soul of Sura within her. The camera loves her and flashed the quick reaction of her eyes and facial expression dramatically as she carried us along with her in her torment and glee. Farah is a great actress who exhibited such energy throughout the episodes that at times made us feel breathless and energized. She was the perfect match for Kurt Seyit.

  17. Absolutely agree with all the comments above! Tired of same old american movies all you see is swearing/sex etc…no culture/no respect and boring storylines! I had gotten into Korean dramas as they also had great stories to tell but somehow there was too much aggressiveness between parents anx their children all the spanking! Also got tired during romantic moments when the women would just stand there during kissing scenes. I understand there are ratings involved but you need to make it a little realistic and show some emotion! Therefore i dropped them and moved onto Turkish dramas and have not regretted it since and of course the actors/actresses are so much more Buff????! The scenery also just Wow!

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