What is so special about Turkish Dramas?

Yes seriously, those people who are going gaga over the Turkish plays please enlighten me, what exactly is it about these plays that is so different or unique and obviously appealing that I find so many people praising these plays and of course following them. Turkish dramas have been criticized to the limit, I know that but the fact is that they have a huge fan following. I have witnessed it around me and I also know it because of the number of people who watch these dramas online. People may not have the “courage” to say outright that these dramas are great and we love them because there will be too many people “judging” them then but there is a big “silent” majority who follows these dramas. I have nothing against Turkish dramas; I am definitely not the part of the “group” that dislikes Turkish dramas solely because they are foreign! I tried watching Ishq-e-Mamnu when it went on air because practically every second person around me was talking about it, like it was something very special but I found the whole dubbing factor a huge put off and couldn’t watch it. I must confess though that based on the opinions of many people I know, I did feel like I was missing out something big.

ishq e mamno

Things have changed greatly now in the past few months, even if you don’t like something about these plays, you still ended up watching a few minutes of a Turkish play every now and then while switching channels or out of sheer curiosity because they are being aired on every single channel and also because sometimes it seems like Turkish plays are all that there is on television at a given time. I ended up watching a few episodes of these Turkish plays in bits and pieces and I think I got the gist of all the stories quite well. Most of the stories revolve around rich families with twisted morals (illegitimate children and extra marital affairs); most of the family members are very actively involved in plotting and planning, young or old.  Yes, there most certainly was a lot of plotting and conspiracies in the few episodes I watched. I watched at least two different plays in which the sisters (or the step sister) were after their Brother-in-Laws. The one on Hum TV is pretty much the same as the twisted sibling stories we see on our screens very often. One sister is holier than thou and the other one is totally opposite – she is out to ruin her sister’s life. The plotting and planning is very different from our dramas (it is much more intricate) but that is what it is. Almost all the stories revolve around married couples and families that have ugly secrets. Don’t we see all of just that in our plays too? The only difference is that the women in our plays are not dressed to kill and the houses are not so beautiful. Yes, some of these dramas proved to be visual treats but nothing more than that. There was nothing about the stories at all that made me stand up and take notice or look forward to more.

junoon tere pyar ka

My opinion is based on watching only a few episodes of some of these plays. I would really like the viewers who like Turkish plays to tell me that what is about these plays that is so different? Is it because of the different faces (I have to say some of them are very pretty!) or is it because people like the settings of the plays which are obviously different too. Is there a Turkish drama on air right now, the story of which does not revolve around family politics of rich families or extra marital affairs? I heard Fatima Gul had a different story but I didn’t watch it at all. I don’t mean to be sarcastic or critical, I am just very curious to hear what is it that the viewers like about these plays. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan has been a part of reviewit right from its inception. She feels very passionately about Pakistani dramas and loves discussing them in detail. An enthusiastic writer, thinker, and political scientist, constantly trying to look beyond the obvious. Full-time mom.

  • Fatima Awan,
    nice write up. mainly because you are not being judgemental and that reflects maturity and acceptance to differing viewpoints. I followed Fatima Gul and enjoyed it thoroughly. Did'nt watch Ishq e mumno and seen other dramas here and there while switching the channels
    By and large I like them….as a pleasant change. However I have noticed few
    1. They act very well 2. Script well written 3 dialogues and conversation is slick, clear, precise and very close to human nature(at least in Fatima Gul) 4. High production value 5. Superior style of direction.

    I'm fan of. Pakistani drama……despite it's limitations. Turkish drama are good fun. Bit of competition will do good to our
    Complacent drama industry. I'm sure pakistani drama will survive this on slaughter of foriegn drama and will come out even stronger. Cheers

    • Anwar Suhail, thank you so much for reading the article and for the comment. I agree with you, the expressions are very good but don't you think the dialogue delivery is lost because of the dubbing, honestly speaking the dubbing is just not growing on me. I totally agree with you about the production values and the direction of one particular play on Hum but the stories are quite repetitive , don't you think? Are they not constantly focusing on the weaknesses of the upper class?
      Absolutely agree with you healthy competition is always good.
      Thank you once again for sharing your point of view, I really appreciate it.

      • Fatima Awan,
        Thanks for the reply. Just doing loud thinking on points you have raised in your reply. Have been watching continental movies dubbed in English for years. So I don't mind dubbing, it sort of grows on you.
        Turkish dramas are not only about families. They also focus on younger people and actually quite nicely.
        Some of them focus on weaknesses of upperclass while others don't ie FAREEB. All characters irrespective of age and gender, appear fit and very good looking and it adds to overall production value, just like our Fawad and Mahira Khan.
        Unfortunately most of our current dramas focus on tiring middle age ladies, henpecked or villainous husbands and domestic politics. To make the matter worse, there is very strong element of lectures, sermons and
        preaching . Humsafar and Dastaan are exceptions not norm.
        I still feel we can learn few things from our Turkish counterparts. Indian junk is being rammed down our throats for years and years without any objection. Few Turkish shows have somehow rattled the cage. I'm pretty sure our drama industry is strong enough o survive these ups and downs.

  • Fatima a well written assessment without mentioning the verdict and mentioned good and bad observation of turkish dramas and leaving it up to reader to draw a conclusion.

    Regarding turkish dramas, the assessment is right that they are stories of rich persons, and most story revolve around marriage, betrayal, love , sibling rivalry, but many plays are different too, Fatima gull was a nice one, and kuzay gunay (onaired on urdu1) is quite different. Turkish dramas are popular in whole middle east arab world and even former east european and central asian countries. Now they are also popular in pakistan, these dramas seems to be for entertainment purpose only their is no social element or a message based theme in these dramas . But the popularity of these dramas seems to be due to
    1- great production value
    2- short scenes, to the point conversations, no sermon type long dialog and scenes
    3- location, lighting, outdoor shooting, styling dressing all are of international standard
    4- Pretty faces in main roles is also a factor, both male and female main stars are normally pretty faces having huge fan base worldwide

    Also turkish dramas are much better than "dhishoon dhishhoon" styled indian dramas that our channel and audience love to follow.

    • Rashid Nazir, great to hear from you after what seems like a very long time. I agree with you about the production values and the pretty faces, like I said they definitely are a visual treat if nothing else. The thing that put me off was that it seems like all these dramas only focus on showing just how spoiled and rotten the upper class is! I honestly don't mind sermons as long as they click but yes we also need more light-hearted plays.
      Thank you so much for sharing your opinion.

  • True that, dubbing is a big put off. But I still watch turkish dramas as they are not only about a 'bechari' woman, who is being torchered by everyone. Rather,they focus on family issues and disputes. Also, some of them show stories of teenagers, while pakistani dramas are mostly about married women.

  • They are aired daily..7 days a week. So one tends to get addicted. Our dramas r aired after a weekly gap.. Too long a wait . One forgets what happened and then gets irritated if the story doesn't pick up. We have a few daily soaps but their production is horrible.
    Production value. Nice faces . Good locations.

  • I have not watch a turkish drama yet. But il think it could improve our drama industry to compete with turkish dramas.
    I personaly love to watch korean an japanese dramas.because they have good actors, good direction, new stories, good locations, good technicians,they have few episodes like pakistani dramas and they have good sound tracks.

  • they are beautiful and although they are muslims jab hum non muslims(indians)ke dekh sakte hen tou turkish ke bhi and hum PAKI dramas bhi dekhte hen or wese bhi 9 o clock kon sa acha PAKI drama lagta hai and turkish actors and actress are so beautiful their direction their location their faces their acting skills every thing is just perfect and i love both PAKI and TURKISH dramas

  • Agar fatma ap #ishq e memnu dekhten na tou ap turkish dramas ki fan ho jaten agr men bhi ishq e menu ya fatmagul na dekhti tou shayad men bhi turkish dramas ki suppourter or fan na hoti or men PAKI dramas ki bhi bht bri fan hun PakistanI or Tukish dramas ka koi muqabla nhi hen ap dekhen ge tou pta lage ga ayen andha dhun cmnt krne se koi fiada nhi

  • I think the best part of Turkish drama …though I had,not watched all but only one 'mera sultan'…. what I liked to see the old Muslim traditions and how sultanate rule was… their dialogues n obviously the story.. which does not stick to one scene or concept but the issues are limited to a certain point and not exaggerated.. besides this other reason is the fact that they are constantly showing the same drama throughout the day and entire week… which makes the viewers becum not so desperate of what will happen next.. the curiosity is ultimately short-term… but I Ned to mention here that I am very much against their dressing style with women revealing clothes which is very much against Islamic culture… And also I must Admit their expressions n acting is too gud

  • Well ishq -e- Mamno ki story kafi bold thi or tabhi us ko sab ne dislike kia but fatma i recommend u to watch Fatmagul us ki jesi stories hamra han b ban chuki hain like Paani jesa piar , kaafir etc lekin us main ik rape victim girl ko kis tarhan jeena sikhaya hai or kis tarhan apne pairon per khara hona sikhaya hy wo bhttt kamal hy or aj tak hamre kisi b dramay mn nhi dikhaya gaya ……. !! ye aisa drama hy jis per koi ungli nhi utha sakta
    Fatmagul is Besttt (Y)

    • agree with you..i like only fatmagul among all turkish dramas specialy the hero of FATMAGUL Engin akyurek is awesome ;D

    • Fatima GUL is superb outstanding drama. Superb narrative, good acting, stylish direction and very high production value

  • turkish dramas r a treat to watch ,,,but not all of them firstlyi hated the dramas bcoz i couldnt see the actor's expression due to dubbing,,,but after watching mera sultan my views were changed ,,,,,,it is based on true history(searched google)..the era is re created very beautifuly…..some wants i simply wnt to be there :)……u shud watch this serial and then write a rewiew abt it (waiting for that),,,,,and with due respect wat r the pakistani dramas telling us that dont trust ur loved ones , ur respected relations e.g. sisters, cousins,friends or they would grab ur husband,fiance or boyfriend,,,thats what we r told daily….

  • love their dramas..its almost close to reality.. their direction, their acting.. the huge margin of balancing each character.. theres no ghissa pitta rona dhona.. more character they add more quality of acting you find..atleast they are the ones you cant bored off!! they take you far away from depressed old style themed dramas! they are CLASSIC , no comparision indeed ! <3 & My Fav. Turkish Drama Is "Ishq-E-Memnu <3 OMG! its Ever Green :* <3 Especially The Best Part Of ishq-e-memnu is "Nihal & Behlul'' Oh My Gosh! They're so perfect Together Ufhh :*

  • i jusst lyk ishq e mmnu lotxxx da bxt turkish drama ever jusst lubb nehal behlul mr adnaan nd bihter alxo mssng da serioul….:(

  • well i believe some of the turkish serials are good…i used to watch "asi" on express tv and seriously i didn't see any bold seen in that……but i admit that some of turkish serials have a vulgarity element too but generaly these are ok and i also think that just bcuz of turkish dramas our industry will focus on improving their standards…meanwhile i don't know why people don't criticize indian dramas…..i thnk we should ban these low standard indian dramas!

    • Because we have double standards even when it comes to art and entertainment.

      Also because our drama industry feels threatened by Turkish dramas as they have much higher production value.

  • I never see this type of serial but now I really really like Turkish serial I watch asi on express tv that's a mid blowing serial in asi serial we can see original beauty of village it's almost close to reality n big thing is that the place is just beautiful I also watch bewafai on geo tv really beautiful family serial I will vry excited to watch them ishqk e mamnu is also a vry gud serial n yes Fatima gul serial is too gud great production n all Turkish actors n actresses r beautiful I really like some Turkish people like asi, dameer,from asi berin Ilin osman mete from bewafai bhiter behlul nehal from ishqk e mamnu

  • im biggest fan of on FATMAGUL drama everything in thz drama is perfect cast mandblowing,music superb,story awesome,direction flawless,and immortal couple Of BEREN SAAT and ENGIN AKYUREK..unlike other turkish dramas

  • I have'nt wtched ishq-e-mamnoon and fatima gul. As you have writen in your article that the turkish dramas are about moral twists and in two dramas sisters are after brother-in laws , but the same is happening in our dramas. you can take the example of " MAAT" and "AKS". Extra marital affairs are also very commonly shown in our own Pakistani dramas , we have the examples of "Maney na yeh dil" ,"Vasal"," Ek Nazar Meri Taraf" ( a very cheap drama). I am not favouring Turkish dramas , but I just want to say that Pakistani dramas are doing the same.
    When it comes to cheap dressing then we have the examples of Humaima's dressing in AKBARI OR ASGHARI and THORI SI WAFAA CHAHIYE, in which Mehwish Hayat's dressing was not good.

  • i've never watched any turkish drama.I think we have enough talent in our country and there's no need to import such international plays moreover,these plays are ruining our talent.But there is a very major reason why people prefer them..as people are just fed up watching the same stories again and again depicting our typical islamic scholars and stories related to the lower middle class…people want to see something new and so they are getting it from the turkish dramas cox most of these dramas are depicting there upper class so there glamourous dresses and locations are very much admired by our public…

  • People Want to watch half naked women’s in these soap operas. Pls get a life watch BBC or US Channels if that’s all you like to see.

  • im least interested in the half clothes of females of turkish drama i just like thier storiesl ike i like mera sultan and intikaam

    • whats so special in mera sultan,…. i have never seen such a stupid drama in my entire life,,, they r even worse then indian serials……and i totally agree with u fatima..i m also very curious that why people like turkish dramas so much…. O_0

  • i watch turkish dramas because they r different,stylish and beautiful womens appeal me. a fantasy . turkish serials are entertainment,entertainment and entertainment

  • Turkish Dramas Are Just So much More Real and Better Dramas…Dramas For examaple Mera Sultan show Us the Story Of the Ottaman Empire Age.The age of the Sultans Like Memhet I,Sulieman The magnificent.They are shown here I feel like there is nothing Wrong..Except the Clothing..Because They are very Weternized..I love Turkish Drama Feriha A lot, More Then Mera Sultan.It shows the life of A poor Girl Fell in Love With A rich Handsome Boy Emir,Trapped In her Own lies With a very strict Family And Emir who is Not aware of who she is.It shows That there Are many strict Rules Over the Girls And Get Beated Often.TheN There is A drama Fatamagul Showing the Story Of A Rape Victim,Fatmagul.Then Isq e Mamnoo..I thought the Acting in this drama is Superb but the plot is Failing..Also With Kuzey Guney its the same thing..I love Also KG And Isqe Mamnoo. I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING AGAISNT PAKISTANI DRAMAS

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