Though the big novelty in the Turkish TV market is Netflix originals, international buyers still have an appetite for classic long-running Turkish dramas such as “Evermore,” nominated for a 2018 Intl. Emmy and widely sold around the world including, in Israel, where it has become a pop-culture phenomenon. Variety looks at recent standout Turkish TV dramas in various stages, several of which will launch internationally at MipTV.
This dark 1970s-set romancer, which is playing well on broadcaster ATV in Turkey, begins in Istanbul and then moves to the Cilician Plains in southcentral Turkey, where protags Yilmaz and Zuleyha escape after Yilmaz commits murder to protect his beloved from the cruelty of her family. The runaway lovers end up under the control of a powerful landowner and his domineering mother. After world-premiering at MipCancun last November, this drama produced by hitmakers Tims&B Prods. (“Magnificent Century”) has scored sales, including to Imagen for Mexico.
Evermore (aka Bride of Istanbul)
This hit romancer revolves around the Boran family, led by the rich Faruk (Ozcan Deniz) who falls in love with the poor violinist Surreya (Asli Enver). The couple live in a Faruk’s aristocratic ancestral homestead and Surreya struggles to fit in. The show, now in its third season, is produced by 03 Medya, a subsidiary of Saudi-controlled MBC, which, ironically, has pulled Turkish dramas from its own airwaves to stimulate local production.
The streamer’s second Turkish original went into production in March and is scheduled to play on the platform later this year. It’s about a young painter named Atiye whose life in present-day Istanbul changes when an archeologist makes a discovery at the site of an ancient temple called Gobekli Tepe, where secrets of her past are hidden. “The Gift” stars Beren Saat, known internationally as the lead in female empowerment drama “Fatamagul,” which was a global hit.
This show, which has been scoring stellar ratings on Kanal 7 since February, follows a young couple brought together from different social classes, both of whom have taken a vow: Reyhan promises to take care of the family of an old friend who is diagnosed with a terminal illness, while her partner promises to teach his dying father a lesson by sabotaging his arranged marriage. Previewed at NATPE, it’s the latest hit production from Karamel Yapim (“Prisoner of Love”) and has been recommissioned for a second season.
Launched last December, this lavish epic centers around a young antiques dealer whose modern world is turned upside-down when he learns he’s connected to an ancient line of superheroes who must save Istanbul from evil forces. Netflix says it was viewed by more than 10 million households in 190 countries after just four weeks. Season two will drop on April 26.
Two sisters in a small village who had both fallen in love with a handsome young doctor from Istanbul spark the conflicts at the center of this tale of torn bonds, betrayal and social differences in modern and archaic settings. This new drama, which has been a Sunday nights ratings winner on Star TV, is making its international market debut at MipTV.
This tale of two orphans on the run from a ruthless criminal trying to make a new life in Istanbul comes from Stellar Yapim, the producer of international hit series “Elif.” It’s being launched at MIP just as it premieres on Kanal D in Turkey.