Egyptian drama,Turkish style




Egyptian drama,Turkish style

Egyptian drama,Turkish style

by Sherif Awad

The rise of Turkish TV production in the last two decades followed the footsteps of Turkish cinema that is being acclaimed in world festivals.  The popularity of Turkish content also resulted from the launch of TurkSat whose colorful Turkish channels can also be viewed in many Arab countries including Egypt. For their high production values, handsome actors, and beautiful actresses, Turkish TV series have acquired great popularity among Arab TV viewers, especially young women and housewives. Being dubbed into the Arabic language and shown across the Arab world, Turkish TV series easily stole the show from American soap operas like The Bold and the Beautiful and Mexican soaps dubbed in Lebanese dialect. This phenomenon, however, raised the concerns of Egyptian TV critics and TV producers who started to foresee a cultural invasion generated by Turkish drama. But since Turkey and Egypt are sharing many historical and sociopolitical aspects, some Egyptian TV producers considered the exportation of their Egyptian TV series, especially the successful Ramadan series, to Turkish TVs.
It was Amin al-Masri, producer of Lahazat Harega (Critical Moments, the Egyptian ER spinoff), who first announced the dubbing of his series into Turkish among other languages like Chinese, following its success when premiered on Dubai TV few years ago.  Flash-forward to last year, Waleed Youssef, writer of the popular Nour al-Sherif starrer el-Dali, has also announced that the three parts of the series are being dubbed into Turkish as a first step of exchanging video content between the two countries. Veteran TV producer Mohamed Fawzy, whose credits include el-Dali among many other TV series, was behind the start of the dubbing project. “Unfortunately, the process slowed down because Mohamed Fawzy recently went through his third heart operation”, says Youssef when being contacted by Egypt Today. “I guess el-Dali will be very interesting for Turkish viewers because its events are very intriguing and since we shot some scenes of its first part in Turkey”, he adds. 
Among the Egyptian TV series that will receive the same Turkish treatment, Ghada Abdel-Razek’s Maa Sabq al-Esrar (Premeditation) that was aired last year. Producer Maha Selim is the CEO of SelMedia Egypt that was also behind this successful TV series. “A Turkish company that seemed to monitor Egyptian TV series in Ramadan 2012 contacted us and asked for the acquisition of the series in order to be dubbed and aired on Turkish TV”, explained Selim. “I asked them to send us samples of the dubbing Turkish talents in order to check their suitability of replacing the voices of Ghada Abdel-Razek, Maged el-Masri and Tarek Lotfi, the original stars of the series. Following the approval of the voices, we send the script of the series that will be translated into Turkish dialect then the series will be dubbed in the facilities of the Turkish company. I am flying soon to Istanbul to finalize the deal because I did not discuss any financial details till now because my priority was to give the series its first Turkish premiere. We will also discuss the possibility of a Turkish-Egyptian production in the form of a new film to be directed by a Turkish director”, she adds.
Regarding the opening of new markets in Turkey for Egyptian video content, Selim has some reservations: “Given the lack of competition from Syrian drama due to the political situation in Syria, opening new markets for Egyptian TV series in Turkey will also depend on the available airtime on Turkish TVs. I also heard that many Far East Channels are showing interest in Egyptian TV series, particularly those belonging to the historical genre”.
For next Ramadan, Maha Selim will again cast Ghada Abdel-Razek in a new TV series called Hekayet Hayat (The Story of Hayat).