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Date TimeSeptember 13, 2019
VoiceShows such as Magnificent Century have come to rival US TV for international popularity, sweeping through the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. What explains their global success? By Fatima Bhutto
How Turkish TV is taking over the world
‘The first agreement we should make is: don’t call them soap operas,” Dr Arzu Ozturkmen, who teaches oral history at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, scolds me. “We are very much against this.” What Turkey produces for television are not soap operas, or telenovelas, or period dramas: they are dizi. They are a “genre in progress”, declares Ozturkmen, with unique narratives, use of space and musical scores. And they are very, very popular.
Thanks to international sales and global viewership, Turkey is second only to the US in worldwide TV distribution – finding huge audiences in Russia, China, Korea and Latin America. At present, Chile is the largest consumer of dizi in terms of number of shows sold, while Mexico, then Argentina, pay the most to buy them.

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