For fifteen whole years, 55 different Turkish series have put the Turkish language in almost every Greek home, with countless hours of screenings that show ideal images of a fantastic European Turkey that looks like a real paradise, says Leonidas Koumakis of the International Hellenic Association.
The themes of these TV productions, which have excellent technical perfection, vary from highly propagandistic, such as the “beautification” of the blood-stained conqueror Sultan Suleiman and many others that could not be shown in Greece but are distributed everywhere else and have intensely anti-Greek content – to even the very simple, like a sweet little girl looking for her mother or father, the rich person who falls in love with a poor person and vice versa, etc.
All are based on a long-term program of culturally Turkifying different countries and target areas with excellent and tasteful presentation that shows the whole of Turkey as a magical tourist destination, an ideal place to invest, a Turkey that will emerge as a well-established economic and political “superpower,” and not one to export Turkish Islamists as “cultural influence.”
The vehicle for the operation of the cultural Turkification or “cultural influence” program would be the bravely subsidised Turkish TV series that would be exported to as many countries as possible at “very competitive prices” – almost like that!
Indeed, Turkey’s private sector has been active since the year 2004. When the program was implemented by Islamists in the Russian Federation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave rich subsidies but an inviolable condition and several other conditions.
The inviolable condition is that the series will be shown in Turkish and never dubbed.
The other conditions require the subsidised order to display the family institution as something sacred, it should not show alcohol consumption, the protagonists should not smoke cigarettes or cigars or cheat on their wife, the Turkish flag should appear when the scene allows it, the protagonists will reject black money offered to them without being entitled to it and so on. In other words, each subsidised series would have to be approved by the Turkish Islamists in order to include all the elements of the desired cultural Turkism, regardless of whether all this has anything to do with the harsh Turkish reality.
The subsidised series do not present Turkish society as it really is, but so foreign viewers could exclaim, “how beautiful Turkish society is, how much morality it has, how much it respects the family, how great and powerful Turkey is, how beautiful it is.”
This plan of the Turkish Islamists was a great success: Turkish TV series not only flooded the immediate target areas (Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, Arab countries) but also traveled to 75 countries around the world, transferring a fictitious image of modern Turkey, according to that with the virtual standards that Islamists around the world wanted to “sell.”
Nowhere in the series are subsidised persecutions, imprisonments and killings of Kurds, the silencing or imprisonment of journalists, academics, judges, military personnel and civil servants – nowhere is there any suspicion of deep-rooted and controlling government aligned with the Far Right Gray Wolves, nor a word about the freedom, oppression and violation of the human rights that millions of Turks suffer from, nowhere to be suspected of the contempt of 184 decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.
If a filmmaker dares to “escape” any bold independent production that is not in the predefined molds, the price is handcuffs and imprisonment with imaginary charges. This happened after the production of the film “Awakening” that saw filmmaker Ali Avci arrested as a result.
In Greece, television stations have been flooding receivers with subsidised Turkish series since 2005. In 2012, George Karabelias, denounced the Turkish series as “cultural Turkification.”
Of the 55 Turkish series shown in Greece, 18 were shown on ANT1, 17 on the old MEGA until 2018, 7 on ALPHA, 7 on STAR, 5 on SKAI and 1 on EPSILON.
26 of the 55 Turkish series, were discontinued without completion either because they were too large in number of episodes and broadcast hours, or because the advertising “interest” was not significant.
Finally, in the last fifteen years, efforts have been made to show in Turkey some well-kept Greek television productions, dubbed in Turkish but which did not have a substantial impact on the Turkish market.
At a time when Turkish aggression against Greece is manifesting itself in the most insidious forms of hybrid warfare; at a time when an extremist Turkey is humiliating every day the notion of our country’s maritime and air borders; at a time when almost all high-ranking Turkish officials are indulging in unstoppable verbal bullying against us with various silly pretexts; at a time when well-known Turkish “artists” are creating songs with wishes to “send” the coronavirus to Greece; at a time when the neo-Ottoman expansion invades like a modern pirates the Cypriot Economic Exclusion Zone, as well as Syria and Libya, we continue to watch indifferently through the receivers of our television the spiritual castration of the Greek society in order for a few channel masters to make profit.
We must finally resist the propaganda raid of the Islamists of Turkey who have been insisting for 15 years to convince us that the virtual reality they present to us through the Turkish series is not just a small percentage of Turkish society, but the whole of it. The image of Turkish history that they put to adapt their neo-Ottoman fantasies of the Islamists is authentic and not fake.
It is characteristic that propaganda of the Islamists has reached the point that it puts in the script of the TV Sultan Abdul Hamid II the exact same words that Erdoğan uses in his speeches.
But now that we have a complete picture, it is time for the daily bombardment of Turkish propaganda series on Greek television to stop immediately.
And it will only stop when Greek companies stop permanently supplying Turkish TV series with advertising funds. This is exactly the goal of the International Hellenic Association’s initiative, which we all hope will succeed!