Turkish TV series have been the first on the list of most-watched foreign series in Lebanon since 2007, when they were first dubbed into Arabic.
The Lebanese, who were first introduced to Turkish series in 2007 like others in many Middle Eastern countries, now prefer Turkish dramas over the Syrian, Egyptian and Mexican series that they had been watching for the last 10 years.
While Lebanese men say they watch these TV series to learn Turkish, women say they prefer them because they are interested in Turkey's geographical beauty, culture and fashion along with the storytelling and acting of the series.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Lebanese people stated that the Turkish series, which entered their lives about 10 years ago, are indispensable for them.
Lebanese journalist Zakia Dirani said Turkish series are the best for the Lebanese because they reflect the culture and traditions of Eastern society.
Deyrani stressed that Turkish TV series have been experiencing a golden era over the last decade in Lebanon and remarked that the Lebanese audience, who were first introduced to Turkish productions with the series "Gümüş," aired as "Noor" in Lebanon, and "Ihlamurlar Altında" ("Under the Linden Trees"), have been hooked on Turkish dramas ever since.
Reporting that the presentation of series after being dubbed in Arabic affected the ratings of the productions in question, Dirani continued: "Turkish series are attractive to the Lebanese because they have social, political and cultural messages that capture the attention of the public. With these features, they grasp the feelings of the audience and make people big fans of their actors."
TV series contribute to tourism
The journalist indicated that the Lebanese audience cannot take their eyes off Turkish series, and these series have greatly increased travel to Turkey. She explained that Turkish producers are successful in not only storytelling and casting but also reflecting and introducing the natural beauty of the country.
"There are many Lebanese people who go to Turkey to take photos in the places where "Gümüş" and "Muhteşem Yüzyıl" were shot," Dirani added.
Most-watched Turkish series
Noting that Turkish series can be watched almost 24 hours a day on Lebanese channels, Zakia Dirani mentioned, "'Kara Sevda' [‘Bad Romance'] has become the most watched Turkish series in the country."
Dirani highlighted that they do not limit themselves with Turkish series broadcast on TV and follow the latest series on YouTube as well. For Dirani, "Sen Anlat Karadeniz" ("Lifeline"), "İstanbullu Gelin" ("The Bride from Istanbul"), "Erkenci Kuş" ("Early Bird"), "Çukur" ("The Pit"), "Söz" ("Promise"), "Diriliş Ertuğrul" ("Resurrection Ertuğrul") and "Kızım" ("My Daughter") are among the most-watched series on YouTube. "The Turkish series managed to capture the attention of large audiences by leaving other foreign productions behind," she noted.
‘I like the romance of Turkish series'
Leila, who works as a clerk in a bank, said: "Not a day goes by that I don't watch a Turkish series. I have been following ‘Kara Sevda' recently."
"When I first started watching Turkish TV series, I realized that I had wasted my time with the other foreign series," she said. Leila, who said she sees similarities between Turkish and Lebanese culture, added that she likes the old-school romanticism of Turkish dramas instead of that of other more exaggerated foreign dramas. "For me, one episode a day is not enough. I watch three episodes every day sometimes."
‘I watch eight Turkish series a day'
Lebanese housewife Rana, 33, stressed that Turkish series are indispensable for her as well. She said: "I watch eight series a day. I follow them not only on television but also on the internet," citing that she watches "Çukur," "Vatanım Sensin" ("Wounded Love"), "Payitaht: Abdulhamid" ("The Last Emperor"), "Ağlama Anne" ("Don't Cry, Mom"), "Gülperi," "Elimi Bırakma" ("Don't Let Go off My Hand"), "Yasak Elma" ("Forbidden Fruit") and "Bizim Hikaye" ("Our Story").
‘I learned Turkish words from series'
Lebanese housewife Hale implied that she watches Turkish TV series on DVDs that she bought along with episodes on television.
Listing "Ertuğrul," "Kara Sevda" and "Kiralık Aşk" ("Love for Rent") as her favorite series, Hale added: "The series were so beneficial for me. I used the Turkish words I learned from these series when I went to Turkey."
Undergraduate Hind, 22, said she watches episodes that she is unable to watch on weekdays because of school on weekends by downloading them from the internet.
Her favorite series are "Kara Sevda," "Kiralık Aşk" and "Çukur."
‘I learn Turkish from series'
Lebanese Jihad, 66, who worked in the capital Beirut, mentioned that he watches Turkish TV series on the internet and never misses "Diriliş Ertuğrul," "Son Destan" ("The Last Legend") and "Filinta."
Remarking that he is retired and spends a significant portion of his time watching the Turkish series, Jihad added: "I learn Turkish from the series. Just today, I learned a few Turkish words."