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Turkish soap operas turn Istanbul into Paris of the East

Popular Turkish TV series are filling state coffers by attracting tourists from as far away as South America.
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Veteran film journalist Esin Kucuktepepinar had just arrived back in Turkey after attending the Tokyo International Film Festival when she spoke by phone to Al-Monitor on Nov. 3 from the Istanbul airport. During the interview, she offered her impressions on the success of Turkish TV soap opera series.

“Interest in Turkish series is growing everywhere,” said Kucuktepepinar, a member of the International Federation of Film Critics. “Foreigners recognize our serial stars — ones I don’t even know. Moreover, there is a lot of interest in the cities and locations where series are filmed.” Kucuktepepinar said Indonesian film critics had told her that the series are very popular in their country. 

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