TV Series in Turkish Foreign Policy: Aspects of Hegemony and Resistance

Constantinos Constantinou, Zenonas Tziarras


This article examines the ways in which (pop or) popular culture may fall within the context of foreign policy. More specifically, it situates our analysis against such backdrop by delving into how Turkey effectively exports pop culture, propaganda and positive images of itself via the use of television (TV) shows. To that end, notable Turkish soap operas market its ancient glorious past. Admittedly, these telenovelas form a salient cultural product export for Turkey as they reach diverse and far-away audiences – from Latin America to Russia, Central Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans, to merely name a few. 

Paradoxically, the frenzy has even reached places like Greece. Not to mention, Serbia or Israel, with the latter’s phenomenal success accompanied also with some backlash. Therefore, the current study seeks to better understand the magnitude alongside the impact of Turkey’s achievement given how it comprises a multi-million-dollar industry, by partially unearthing what makes Turkish TV series so powerful the world over. Further, this research firstly presents an analysis of the hegemonic efforts before presenting the limitations to its success by thoroughly covering the empirical data while, theoretically framing it.  


TV series; Soap Operas; Turkey; Pop Culture; Propaganda; Soft Power; Propaganda

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