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The New Arab Staff

Netflix announces host of new Turkish TV series and films

The new productions include a sitcom set in the '70s erotic film industry [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 October, 2020

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The streaming giant is massively expanding its roster of Turkish original TV series and films.
Streaming giant Netflix has announced it will launch a whole host of original Turkish series and films.

The announcement of 15 new TV series and films came during a content presentation on Tuesday just two years after the launch of Netflix's first Turkish original show, "The Protector".

Since the fantasy series' release in late 2018, Netflix has launched several other Turkish original series, including historical docudrama "Rise of Empires: Ottoman" and "The Gift".

Netflix has also recently expanded into Arabic-language originals, launching its first with the Jordan-set supernatural teen drama "Jinn" last year.

Upcoming Turkish series include "Midnight at the Pera Palace", adapted from a non-fiction book by Charles King. The show will follow a young journalist as she discovers a portal to the year 1919 in Istanbul's historic Pera Palace hotel, according to Variety.

Two new projects are due to start production soon, including a feature-length action and adventure film set on a submarine.

Other series announced on Tuesday include "Ersan Kuneri", a sitcom set in the erotic film industry of the 1970s, and "Club", following a seamstress working at a nightclub in the '50s.

Netflix will also produce "Have You Ever Seen Butterflies?", a feature film based on a 1999 play and written by award-winning actor-director Yilmaz Erdogan.


"We believe that Turkey is one of the major creative centers for great storytelling that resonates around the world," said Pelin Distas, director of original content for Netflix in Turkey.

Turkish television series have become increasingly popular across the world in recent years, grabbing a particular foothold in South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

"Therefore, ramping up our investment with our new originals makes us extremely excited. We're proud to continue creating global opportunities for the talented artists of this great country, and sharing their authentic stories with our members in Turkey and around the world," Distas said according to Variety.

Several Arabic-language original series are also in production at Netflix.

They include "AlRawabi School for Girls", an all-female teen drama set in Jordan, and "Paranormal", based on a series of books by best-selling Egyptian author Ahmed Khald Tawfik.

Earlier this year, the streaming giant became embroiled in a controversy in Turkey over alleged government censorship of the depiction of LGBTQ+ characters.

Screenwriter Ece Yorenc claimed production was cancelled on her show "If Only" after Netflix refused to bow to government demands to remove a gay character from the series.

Netflix has also attracted criticism after it removed an episode of a satirical comedy show criticising Saudi Arabia.

In the episode, host Hasan Minhaj lashed out at the kingdom and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the war in Yemen and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.



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