Transnationalization of Turkish Television Series
“They’re Not That Much Different After All…”. The Reception of Turkish Series by Greeks: Between Alterity and ProximityDimitra Laurence Larochelle
Through this article, I aim to present the results of my empirical research concerning the representations of Turkish culture projected by Turkish television soap operas and their reception by Greeks. More precisely, the narrative that nourished the Greek War of Independence, is based not only to the direct descendants of modern Greeks from ancient Greeks but also to the difference between the modern Greek identity and the Turkish culture which was considered as the exact opposite. Thus, negative stereotypes emerged from both sides and these stereotypes dominate collective imaginaries until today. During the period of the economic crisis, as Greek television channels did not have the means to produce local series, they turned to productions from the neighboring country. Turkish television soap operas propose an “alternative modernity” as not only they contain ingredients that conduct the viewer into a fantasy world of globalized consumerism and romantic love that defies national boundaries, but they also project traditional family structures and gender roles. It is this element that differentiates the soap operas in question from the American prototype. This “alternative modernity” seems to be more familiar to Greek audiences than the modernity proposed by occidental television products. As a consequence, through the consumption of Turkish drama series, Greeks have the possibility to re-examine the representation they have for the Turks and are invited to discover not only the cultural differences but also the common traits between the two populations.