One year after launching a production venture in Turkey, L.A.-based production company Karga Seven Pictures has announced the appointment of prominent Turkish media exec Omer Ozguner as CEO of their Istanbul-based outfit.
Concurrently Karga have also forged a partnership with prominent local directorial duo The Taylan brothers, known for megahit dramas “Magnificent Century” and “Wounded Love.”
Durul Taylan and Yagmur Taylan will be based in Karga Seven Pictures offices in Los Angeles where they will develop scripted projects targeting “Turkey, the Middle East and the United States,” the company said in a statement. Karga Seven is a subsidiary of global film and TV group Red Arrow Studios.
Karga Seven’s decision to have these top Turkish creatives work out of L.A. reflects a greater international push underway within the country’s TV industry prompted by the current roughly 40% Turkish Lira devaluation against the Dollar due to tensions between populist presidents Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has also stepped up censorship constraints on local TV dramas.
A veteran of the Turkish TV industry, Omer Ozguner (pictured) is a former journalist and best-selling author who served as general manager at Star TV Turkey between 2012 and 2018 and during that time turned the commercial linear broadcaster into the top TV network in Turkey by commissioning a slew of hit shows. He was previously director of programming at national network NTV.
After producing in Turkey for several years Karga Seven Pictures launched its Turkish outfit last year, with productions including high-end thriller skein “City of Secrets” for Fox which reunited Turkish megastar Erkan Petekkaya with director Cevdet Mercan.
Karga Seven is currently preparing its upcoming Turkish slate with its new team that, besides Ozguner, includes drama coordinator Ummu Burhan. They aim to “introduce a bold and international dimension to Turkish television,” they said. The company is also expected to soon announce remake rights acquisitions for several hit international series.
“We are delighted that Omer Ozguner has joined us in Turkey to spearhead our Turkish production operations, and that we have forged an important new partnership with The Taylan brothers, two of the most successful film and TV directors working in Turkey today,” said Emre Sahin, founding partner of Karga Seven Pictures, in the statement. He went on to note that it was great to have the hit-making duo on board just as Turkey continues to be “the second-largest exporter of television dramas in the world.”
Ozguner said that “Karga is the only production company in Turkey that is aiming to grow via international partnerships” and added that they want to “produce rich, unique content for Turkish and international audiences.”
The Taylan brothers underlined that “partnerships such as this are vital to diversify content in the Turkish TV industry” and said this one “will bring to life a wide variety of highly watchable projects.”
“Magnificent Century” and “Wounded Love” are considered milestones in Turkish TV’s exponential international growth over the past decade.