On Turkish Soaps


Okay, so let’s have a little sit down and talk about this for a bit. We all know about that infection that plagued the middle east and the arab world known as “Noor”. before i say some more, there is not a single doubt in my mind that the infection was very pleasant to the eye. what with all those beautiful women and and handsome men for us to feast our eyes upon. and as i understood from someone who’s actually seen a few episodes, it’s about a woman who’s married to a man who’s got issues with his Ex and gets drunk and goes and cheats on his wife every now and then. regardless of what the story line really goes like, there’s a crap load of romance, drama, sex, alcohol, and God knows what else.

And being a Turkish soap, it’s Turkish in culture. and to quote Wikipedia, this is what they say about it
“Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Oğuz Turkic, Anatolian, Ottoman (which was itself a continuation of both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) and Western culture and traditions, which started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and still continues today”


unfortunately, i will have to explain the dangers of such a soap. because some people just don’t get it. for those that do and think it’s okay, then Thumbs up! at least you have a serious and educated view on the matter! and i owe you respect for that. but here are my two bits.

there was a time when we Arabs REVOLTED against the ottomans. and for those of you that don’t know, Ottomans empire translates into modern day Turkey. being put that way, Turkey is what is left of the ottoman empire. and if you think I’m making this up, ask a Turk who knows his history.and if you need further proof, the capital of Turkey, Istanbul, was called Constantinople – which was the capital of the ottoman empire.

now let’s look at how we Arabs relate to the Turkish soaps. First off, we no longer use Fus7a “Proper Arabic” to dub the soaps, we use the Lebanese accent. so, before i go any deeper into this, we’re already slowly erasing what little is left of the Arabic language. it’s bad enough that news presenters can go through two Arabic sentences without messing up a grammar rule! it’s even more sad, that I, an Arab, a Jordanian, AND a Muslim, had to take private Arabic lessons in high school cause i was very bad at it. bad to the accent, we all know that the Lebanese accent is very easy on the ear! not as harsh and strong as the Iraqi or Kuwaiti accents for example. so by just listening to the show, we are already finding it easier to accept.

and then there’s a silly, but very affective factor. TURKISH COFFEE. we love it! we drink it, and we take pride in making a good cup of Turkish coffee! to the point where betrothals are approved by drinking that cut of Turkish coffee sitting at the table when a proposal is being made. the father ” or the guardian of the woman” even says “Ishrab Gahwitak = Drink your coffee”.

and then, it’s being aired by MBC, a Saudi owned chain. now what’s more Arab than Saudi?

i haven’t seen the show myself. i tried to, and i started laughing after 15 seconds because of the silly, bloated, and did i say silly? DRAMA! it was like watching a 3-year old having a fit about how his shoe laces are untied!

forget all the things i said about how it relates to Arab culture. let’s just say that it doesn’t relate to us what so ever. the fact of the matter is, it took the Arab world by the heads and the number of people diligently following it is staggering. that is the pure and simple fact. why? make up your own reasons. it may be that because the Arab culture is closed, and conservative, that the people who watched found it as a nice way to manifest and release all the pent up frustration with their constraints. fine. so be it. you want to imagine yourself as a romantic character in a dramatic story, read a book. Danielle Steel writes tearjerkers and dramatic stories that are filled with the same stuff. only it’s a book, and it’s not the same as seeing a live example of someone being an idiot who cheats on his wife.

akhhhhh….i can talk about this forever, but my friend just arrived and i have to go. in a nut shell. people, open your eyes. we were once ruled by the Ottoman “Turkish” Empire, and we paid with our forefather’s blood to change that. there’s something called THE GREAT ARAB REVOLT that resulted in the recession/fall of the Turkish empire and resulted in a lot of the bad points in the middle eastern situation and also granted us our freedoms and rights as Jordanians, Saudi’s…..it granted us our independence. don’t throw it all away by relating and following the silly brainwashing of treturous and devious chain that is MBC. since when did we arabs make it ok to be capitalist? have we lost our morals? how do you think you would feel like if your 4-year old daughter started picking up her toy phone and said “Alo, Muhannad! 7abeebi” ?

have we lost our pride in our culture? have we lost all that it meant to be a PROUD ARAB? are we so insecure as to resort to Turkish culture for examples? do we not care what great examples we have about love and romance? what about Qais wa Laila? what about kaleela wa dimna? what about all the unknown and obscured literature that WE wrote? the things that ARE Arab, that ARE us?

Sure, we can choose to have habits and doctrines that are not Arab. but we must not let it reach a point where it erases our identity as who we are. you want to lose it? you want to become something else? then fine! go be something else if you want to. just don’t ever claim to be one of us. cause you’re not.you’re just an ashamed and insecure person.


~ by Mazz on 2 December, 2008.

6 Responses to “On Turkish Soaps”

  1. I can not relate to what you say about the Arab culture, as I’m not Arab. But Turkish culture? Turkey only exists about one century, forbidding other cultures in their country.

  2. well es, you have more first hand experience when it comes to turkish people 😉

    i do not intend to say that they should be banned in our countries. but they should be banned on feeble minded, insecure, easily impressionable people who would not make an aware choice about whether to follow them or not 😀

  3. It is not Lebanese, it is the Syrian dialect they use.

  4. Haifaa, sorry, Syrian!
    i never could get through more than a minute of the show!

  5. *ahem* Turkey may have existed for only a century, but they are direct successors to the Ottoman Empire which existed for six centuries. I visited Turkey many times, and no, they do not forbid other cultures. I heard they did that during the 60s, but not anymore. In fact, you can hear many Greek folk groups playing in Istanbul everyday (Greeks and Turks are supposed to hate each other).

    Back to the story, you see; America in Iraq woke Turkey up. They were like “holy crap! these guys are coming and taking these territories that are(were) rightfully ours!!”, and knowing that they can’t compete with the US in military power, they worked their minds and said “oh hey, how about we take back the Middle East culturally? Make them want to be ruled by us, instead of forcefully taking over them? mmm black gold…”.

    Kinda like how Japan attempted to economically conquer the world with Pokemon. (seen the South Park episode with Chinpokomon?)

    So, effectively, you are doomed to be culturally dominated by the Ottomans once again (cultural imperialism anyone?). Whether it is for good or bad, we will see. Well, at least you’ll have more freedom…

  6. Are you people listening to yourselves? You all are defensive due o the first gentleman’s response and not telling him what his problem really is. Here is what I think. Maybe just maybe you should watch more than a minute before you judge. Secondly the show is not about a guy cheating. Like any TV series/show it invokes realism, every day life situations that may not be occurring to you but there are plenty of other people who can relate to it. And just because you can not see certain things in your culture that are more commonly visible in Turkey or in America it does not mean they are non-existent. I can guarantee that plenty of unacceptable or unmoral situations currently occur right under the noses of righteous Arabs. You don’t want your people to stray onto the path of ugliness or evil because MBC is airing something that you believe is bad and that some people can not or are not equipped in making correct choices? Well, sweetheart who died and made you God? Worry about yourself and your actions, that is the first step to a better world for all. If we all worry about how we act, behave, treat others, and ponder every step we make then a lot of things in our world would be very different. You can not tell people what, how, when, why or why not they should watch or like etc…Absolutely absurd. It’s due to people like you who are unable to educated themselves in more than their own culture and learn how to appreciate the good in everyone and every country that we as humanity have so much war and hatred. If you go from country to country you are bound to find plenty of people who will tell you how their forefathers also bleed for their freedoms, values/morals and dignity. No one is essential better than the other, we are all equal for we are all human.

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