Fatma Şapcı, Head of Acquisitions, Sales & Formats, Ay Yapım | Did the Soap Opera Bubble Burst or is it Still Expanding?

Turkish drama is certainly a global phenomenon – why do you think viewers get so attached to viewing such a high number of episodes, which is something that this genre is famous for. What keeps them involved in the story?

We are asking this ourselves as well..  but as you know we have a tough elimination process and only the best Turkish Drama reaches International audiences..  Acc. to the feedback we get from the audiences- the way of storytelling, the emphasize on strong emotions, very good cast and high production qualities are the key factors. Hard work, enthusiastic team work and creativity make it possible to create each week an eps. of about 120 min. Rating data shows that esp. the Total categories worldwide show the same interests as in Turkey. There are the same tendencies worldwide.

Which territory has shown the most interest in buying and airing Ay Yapim content and to which country in the Balkans do you export the most of your formats or TV series? What show was the most successful one?

AYYAPIM Drama is distributed worldwide.. We started to be most popular in the Mena region, Greece and Bulgaria. Then the Latin America wave started with Chile and the success made the rest to follow. Right now there is no country in the world without Turkish content. We are most popular in Spain, Latin America, Mena, Georgia..etc Russia, Africa and Asia is on the rise. ‘Vlad’ a Romanian adaptation of one of our Bestseller ‘Ezel’- was selected as Romania’s most successful program this year.

We have regular clients who are licensing all of our content like Bulgaria, Macedonia and Bosnia in the Balkans. To name only one successful Drama of us would be difficult, but I could mention some of the most popular ones Ezel, Fatmagul, Kara Para Ask, Brave and Beautiful and our Int. Emmy awarded Drama, Kara Sevda.

How do you see the future of Turkish drama – is the production style going to be different, what would viewers want to see next in this genre?

Turkish Drama is constantly evolving, because Tv is an important part of people’s life in Turkey. AYYAPIM as one of the game changers, with our brave moves in digital content and new content genres we will have surprises. We will have a third season of THE PIT and several International Coproductions to be announced as well.

How to stay competitive and offer something different in the Turkish drama genre these days when a great amount of similar content is produced?

We need to be very competitive in our market which reflects itself to the International..When we plan we plan mostly for the Turkish audience and in general this works well.

What would you say are the biggest challenges and format competitors in your business?

I would say the biggest challenges are the worldwide changes in politics and finances, effecting the countries.. which are our clients.

If the advertiser pressures a Channel in the Balkans to reduce the Turkish Drama slots from two to one- yes this effects us. Piracy would be another important issue in other parts of the world.

But since we love what we do we will continue to challenge.