Turkish soap operas are incredibly popular, regularly topping the TV ratings in countries from Kazakhstan to Chile.

The soaps are typically over an hour long per episode, with family drama, as well as matters of honour and love at the forefront. A typical example is Aşk-ı Memnu (Forbidden Love), which has aired in 46 countries and is a modern adaptation of the famous Ottoman novel of the same name by Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil.

Just like Dickens and many other writers of the time, Uşaklıgil wrote his novel in parts to be serialised in the press, meaning that it was already neatly divided up into the many small cliffhangers that kept viewers hooked.

Although most viewers of Turkish soaps are women, there are some aimed at men as well, such as the gripping Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of the Wolves), which tells the story of a nationalist mafia in the country’s southeast.


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