Turkey plans to increase its revenue from the export of Turkish series and soap operas worldwide to $2 billion by 2023, Metin Tunçtürk, the chairman of the professional body of film producers, FIYAB, has said.
“The Turkish drama sector is open to the world and is set to become a locomotive for an economic, cultural and global national breakthrough,” Tunçtürk said.
He highlighted the recent decline in the Turkish lira’s value against the U.S. dollar, but believed the fluctuations in the exchange rate would positively affect the country’s film sector due to its export capacity.
“Turkey is not a country that imports film and TV series in dollars. Today, Turkish series are sold roughly to 200 countries and some of them are valued at around $250,000 per episode,” he said.
Annual exports of Turkish series have already surpassed $200 million. “The targets are now bigger in this industry,” he added.
The popularity of Turkish dramas skyrocketed since 2004, particularly in the Middle East, South America and southern European countries.
Popular Turkish series have been exported to over 200 countries, contributing to a boom in the country’s domestic television industry. A particular success story is “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century), which follows the life of the 16th century Ottoman Sultan, Süleyman the Magnificent.
The show proved hugely popular both in Turkey and in eastern Europe where it is being broadcasted in 70 countries and watched by over 250 million people.
The second success story is “Deli Yürek” (Wild Heart), which was the first Turkish television production exported in 2001.
“In the past, we hardly sold ‘Deli Yürek’ to Kazakhstan for $30 per episode, but this time for Muhteşem Yüzyıl, we received over $200,000 per episode. This development is really exceptional,” Tunçtürk said.
Turkish TV series has a record of encouraging a wide influx of tourists and promoting Turkish culture and brands overseas.
He added that Turkish films were increasingly bagging prestigious awards at international festivals. The most recent one is “Kalandar Soğuğu” which received the best film award in the “Kaleideskop” section at the Hamburg Film Festival.