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April 22, 2009
Arab world is transfixed by Turkish soap operas

For more than six centuries, the Ottoman Empire controlled Arab lands, leaving its imprint on art, language and food.

Today, Turkey is wielding influence once again in the Arab world — not militarily, but through its soap operas. More than a dozen Turkish soaps have aired on Arab television, offering an escape from the hard daily realities of life.

Worldfocus producer Mohammad Al-Kassim reports on this new Turkish invasion.

For more Worldfocus coverage of Turkey, visit our extended coverage page: Turkey between East and West.

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Comments

4 comments

#4

It is so weard that all the faces looking towards the TV were quite more interesting than those who were on the screen, and the small girl who was trying to get the attention of her family was saddening… That’s why I don’t watch soap operas..

#3

Corrections to the previous #2:

“fictionally beautiful lives” being lived

“thoughts and emotions are not real…
so why should anyone ever get upset
about anything real if thoughts and emotions
have something of unreality about them?”

#2

Never does it fail to amaze…
what people have to do to endure their understandings of their own lives in this Life.
Some rob ships and play the roles of pirates.
Others fly around the globe like political versions of Shakespeare writing plays for
speaking in eloquent speeches at (un-) diplomatic
stage-forays and plays.
Yet others must be some form of Beethoven…
deaf in many ways yet still hearing the music.
Others, meanwhile, deeply ponder soap operas
and imagine themselves in the roles of many fictional characters. Hence!

In our disguises of stage actors and actresses:
We stand. We sit. We work. We sleep.
(Sometimes we know not which!)
We dream. We daydream. We are rudely awakened
from our dreams. And all the while:
We observe the Sun coming up only to see the
same Sun go back down so we can hurry home
to our loved and loveless ones and observe fictionally beautifully lives being lived
out as fictionally and in very much at times the same way as our own more reality-ridden lives do give us material for us to be as we could wish but often enough in Truth are not…
which anyway should give us hope since fictional
thoughts and emotions are not real…
so why should anyone ever get upset
about anything real if thoughts and emotions
of unreality about them?

Derive your own conclusions…
and by however meandering a dreamy Way…
while we ever attempt never to find our individual ways only by the meandering paths of fictional lives.

But if such “medicinally” intellectual and emotional prescriptions must sometimes thus be taken on our Life’s stormy Way…for the sake
of some kind of (Real?) Peace?
No doubt! We shall always have many variations of soap operas in our Global Life and within all our individual lives as well.

#1

I really related to this piece… Last summer a Turkish friend and I went from Turkey to Syria for a few days. (I’m an American but I speak Turkish and used to live there.).. Wherever we went in Syria, everybody asked us about Nur, the soap-opera star. We were so mystified, as we didn’t know anything about it, and it was never that popular in Turkey, but EVERYBODY in Syria wanted to talk about it… There was an interesting article last fall in the Guardian Weekly about the program’s impact in Gulf Countries, and how women there are all looking for men like the male star in the series who treats his wife with kindness .. the show has even led to divorces by jealous husbands… It’s quite the phenomenon, and it seems to be quite positive…

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