Arab world remains biggest market for Turkish TV series

A group photo of the cast of popular Turkish TV series, “Magnificent Century.” (Via Social media)
Updated 21 November 2017
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Arab world remains biggest market for Turkish TV series

ANKARA: The latest figures announced by Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus about his country’s movie and TV industry confirm its continued global reach, especially among Arab audiences.

He told Parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee that Turkey ranks second in TV series exports after the US, and first in Europe. The Arab world remains the biggest market.

Turkish dramas command audiences of more than 250 million people. About 85 million people in the Arab world watched the final episode of the series “Silver.”

Izzet Pinto, who runs Global Agency, which sells the rights of Turkish series abroad, said they are popular among Arabs because of cultural similarities.

“Turkish soap operas reached popularity peak with ‘Magnificent Century’ (about the Ottoman Empire), which created its own market in which Arab fans bought Ottoman costumes and organized Ottoman-themed family parties,” Pinto told Arab News.

Global Agency recently sold to the Arab world the rights to “Broken Pieces,” and Pinto said this will be followed by “Mother,” “Istanbul Bride” and “Full Moon.”

Senem B. Cevik, a lecturer at the University of California and an expert in public diplomacy and political communication, told Arab News: “Given the number of series exported across the globe and their audience reach, they’re the most visible and significant cultural tools for promoting Turkey.”

She added: “So far, the industry has achieved global success without any support from state resources. The success of drama series is therefore a missed opportunity for Turkey to really take advantage of. They’re successful on their own, but aren’t successfully integrated yet as part and parcel of Turkey’s promotion.”

Turkish series have increased income generated from tourism, as fans are interested in seeing firsthand where their favorite series are filmed.

“The main points that appealed to me were the production, costumes, makeup, acting and directing,” Nevine Helal, an Egyptian fan of the series “Magnificent Century,” told Arab News. “It made me feel like I wanted to live in this era.”

She visited Turkey to see where her favorite series were shot. “Using series for tourism is the greatest idea ever,” she said.

Cevik said the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should utilize the power of the industry as a bridge between cultures by taking Turkish celebrities around the world and offering tours to Turkey to visit film sets.

“In doing so, it’s important for state institutions to maintain a certain distance from production companies and not interfere with content,” she added.


Facebook suspends Boston analytics firm over data usage

In this Oct. 15, 2013, file photo, Chuck Goolsbee, site director for Facebook's Prineville data centers, shows the computer servers that store users' photos and other data, at the Facebook site in Prineville, Ore. (AP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Facebook suspends Boston analytics firm over data usage

  • Facebook said Friday that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn’t found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately

NEW YORK: Facebook said Friday that it has suspended Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon while it investigates how it collects and shares Facebook and Instagram’s user data.
Facebook has been facing increased scrutiny over how third-party firms use its data since news broke in March that data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed user data.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Facebook had suspended Crimson Hexagon. The newspaper says among the firm’s clients is a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin.
“We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships. “We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate.”
Facebook said Friday that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn’t found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately.
Crimson Hexagon says on its website it has access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs and reviews.
In a blog posting , Crimson Hexagon Chief Technology Officer Chris Bingham said the company “abides completely” by the rules social media sites including Twitter and Facebook put in place to limit the ways third-party companies can use their data.
He said the firm only collects publicly available social media data. He contrasted that with Cambridge Analytica’s use of private user data.
Users of Crimson Hexagon’s platform, which include government customers, analyze the data to understand large-scale consumer trends and preferences, Bingham wrote.
“Government entities that leverage the Crimson Hexagon platform do so for the same reasons as many of our other non-government customers: a broad-based and aggregate understanding of the public’s perception, preferences and sentiment about matters of concern to them,” he wrote.