Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Chairman Öztürk Oran criticized the reported decision by Dubai-based broadcaster MBC to stop airing Turkish TV series on its channels, saying that the network will be more affected by the decision.
Oran said in a written statement that no one can prevent people from watching these TV shows in the age of the internet and with so many satellites.
"A channel may be closed, but there are many media organizations that will broadcast Turkish TV series because many people like Turkish series, and Turkey in this region, and the actual discomfort stems from this," Oran said, adding that like how restrictions imposed on unmanned aerial aircraft made in Turkey, if they insist on the ban, Turkey will turn it into an opportunity by creating a richer variety of channels to reach viewers in these countries.
Oran said if there is a showdown, they will see it as entrepreneurs and that it would only make them sharper.
Oran asserted that only those who have issued the ban will lose. He said that Turkish series are watched and admired in the Arab world, and everywhere else around the world, making a tremendous impact and connecting millions of viewers, and as long as Turkish series maintain their quality, no one can afford to block them.
"Nature will take its course. For them to ban our series means accepting to be a less-watched channel," Oran said, adding that apart from MBC, there are also significant channels in the sense of appealing to the Arab world. "We will evaluate them. Making a special satellite broadcast for Turkish productions may also be an option," he said.
The ICOC has taken the Turkish film industry to MIPCOM, MIPTV Cannes and ATF Singapore fairs where TV series, films and content are traded.
Oran said that in collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Economy Ministry, they help companies participate in film markets and bring foreign buyers together with purchase delegations. "With the strategies we developed with the Film Sector Coordination Board, which we formed with important components of the industry under the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, we are working hard for Turkish TV series to show up in more film markets and regions and to reach wider audiences."
A major Middle Eastern satellite network, Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), now believed to be majority-owned by Saudi Arabia, has reportedly decided on March 1 to stop airing Turkish soap operas. The news hit the wires during DISCOP Dubai, an entertainment content market and co-production forum where Turkish series producers and content sellers were also in attendance. Although MBC has provided no official statement to their Turkish partners, the license holders immediately started thinking about alternative solutions as they want to sustain their relations with viewers in the region. Many have opposed the decision on their social media accounts, saying they will continue to watch Turkish TV series.
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