The export of Turkish soap opera exports reached to 300 million dollars over the last decade –up from just 10 million dollars in 2008- with more than 70 series broadcasted around the world.
The exotic settings of the scenes combining drama, romance and intrigues at the same time, the strong technic infrastructure competing with the global competitors and the rigorous characterizations in detail breaking taboos about Turkish lifestyle make these series more and more irreplaceable each day.
The target of the government is to expand this volume to 1 billion dollars by 2016.
The main clientele of this vast array of soap opera industry ranges from the Middle East to the Balkans, from South America to Central Asia, while the most popular ones are Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century), Aşk-ı Memnu (Forbidden Love), Gümüş (Silver) and Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne? (What is Fatmagül’s Fault?).
A recent survey carried out in 16 countries in the Middle East showed that three out of four people had watched at least one Turkish show that was sold abroad.
Just the Magnificent Century was watched by 200 millions worldwide, and promoted a tourist wave to Turkey especially from the Balkans and the Middle Eastern countries that are still saving Ottoman imperial past. This trend also boosted the spendings of the tourists who wanted to buy all things Ottoman.
Turkish series, with their rich content, rank among the most watched productions in the world, and contributes greatly to the tourism sector and boosts the fashionable image of Turkey. For instance, the number of South American visitors to Turkey nearly doubles each year since 2010, mainly with the impact that Turkish soap operas create in the region.
On the other hand, these soap operas, which usually put female empowerment at their center, tackle sensitive subjects such as extramarital affairs, divorce, rape, and in this way they inspire different female audiences across the region to talk about their own problems and dreaming of a new life of their own choice.
Being heavily influenced by Turkish soap operas, foreigners also prefer to visit the historical places where the movies were shot, to buy or rent luxury houses that appear in these shows or to purchase the designer clothes or the same furniture that were used in the series they watch.
One of the main contributions of this export item is to bring an added value to Turkish origin goods, Turkish real estate sector and Turkish image through the cultural rapprochement between Turkey and the client countries.
Market forecasts suggest that this remarkable trend will continue to grow over time; and they will not only contribute to export Turkish culture, but also helps to market it.