5 Yorumsuz – 5 (or 6) without comment – 2015-02-23

1 – Guardian

Turkey has staged its first open military operation in Syria, dispatching hundreds of ground troops, tanks, aircraft and drones to extract 38 soldiers guarding a historical Ottoman tomb besieged by Islamic State (Isis) militants. In the first such incursion into Syria since the start of the civil war nearly four years ago, Ankara launched the operation – dubbed “Shah Euphrates” – to move the remains of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman empire. The operation was conducted through Kobani, the Kurdish-controlled enclave south of the Turkish-Syrian border that was the scene of a recent victory over Isis by the US-led military coalition.

2 – Hürriyet Daily News

A high school student in Turkey was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Feb. 15 for insulting then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The incident took place as the student, identified only by the initials U.H.C., attended a demonstration in Attalos Square in the southern province of Antalya, in protest at a case involving two other high school students who had been charged after protesting against Erdoğan.

3 – Radikal – Notes that the new film Kod Adi KOZ, which deals with Gezi Park and the 17 December corruption investigations, did poorly in its first few days. Producers were hoping it would break Recep Ivedik 4‘s box office record, but it sold only 127,743 seats during its first three days, meaning it would take a small miracle to reach that goal at this point.

4 – Hürriyet Daily News

A ruling party lawmaker has blamed popular Turkish soap operas for the increase in the number of rape cases in the country, arguing that such series were ruining the nature of the Turkish family structure. “You shoot series and you know no bounds in the relationship between the brother’s wife and uncle. You set no limits, and then you complain about the increase in rape. What were you expecting?  Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind,” İsmet Uçma, a deputy from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a member of parliament’s commission investigating the reasons for violence against women, said Feb. 18 during a panel meeting.

5 – Today’s Zaman

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has levied a nearly TL 1 million penalty on the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group in what Samanyolu executives consider yet another attempt to silence media outlets close to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. “As if there were no other channels, RTÜK is exclusively following our channels and attempting to silence them with astronomic penalties,” said Samanyolu Haber TV Editor-in- Chief Metin Yıkar, commenting on the fine. “RTÜK should be the institution that monitors and regulates this country’s television networks, but it has completely abandoned this role and assumed the position of a political actor,” added Yıkar.

6 – Hürriyet Daily News – Turkish Parliament refuses to probe issues it claims to be very concerned about. The AKP majority voted against suggestions from HDP lawmakers that probes be conducted into (1) the so-called parallel state run by Fethullah Gülen, and (2) ISIL activities in Turkey.

5 Yorumsuz – 5 without comment – 2015-02-16

1 –Oda TV – Notes two columnists writing in the pro-government paper Yeni Şafak have come out against the women who are sharing their own experiences of sexual violence on social media in the wake of recent revelations about the brutal murder of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan in Mersin. Sevda Türküsev took to Twitter, writing: “To the women who turn to social media to talk about the harassment they’ve experienced rather than to a doctor: come to your senses, do you think you’ll be a hero like on [TV shows]?” [Assuming the dizlerdeki “the one on her knees” was meant to be [dizilerdeki, “the one on the TV shows.”] Meanwhle, Cemile Bayraktar told critics of the government, “Don’t strip at the opportunism to say this is a rapist Mulsim country. A woman is raped in America every two minutes. Now shut your mouths.”

2 – Hürriyet Daily News

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is moving to destroy all opposition its vision of an authoritarian new Turkey, according to the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB). “The government’s project is to make a new Turkey, so they are trying to design everything – the media, the judiciary. It wants a Turkey that sides with it. They get 50 percent of the votes; they call it the national will and say, ‘People want this.’ No, only 50 percent want this; the other 50 percent do not want it,” said Mehmet Soğancı.

3 – Radikal – Describes the 15 February premiere of Çekmeceler at !f film festival. The team wore black ribbons to show support for the protests of violence against women that have been raised in recent days after the exposure of Özgecan Aslan’s murder. Co-director M. Caner Alper noted that the idea for the film had come up at a previous !f festival when they were showing Zenne, and this is one reason it was appropriate to premiere the film here. As for the 18+ rating, he said the ratings system in Turkey is clearly a problem, but at least the film will be released in the country. Co-director Mehmet Binay downplayed comparisons with Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, saying that it was an honor to be compared to a director like von Trier but their film is quite different, going into the reasons behind the situation. The film will hit cinemas in Turkey on 6 March.

4 – Today’s Zaman

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has levied a nearly TL 1 million penalty on the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group in what Samanyolu executives consider yet another attempt to silence media outlets close to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

5 – Maedyafaresi – RTÜK says it didn’t fine the dizi Ah Biz Kadınlar for using the word “Tanrı” instead of “Allah,” as reported by various media outlets but, rather, for making fun of god.

Global Agency takes formats worldwide – profile on CEO Izzet Pinto – 21 March 2014


[from 21 March 2014 interview as Global headed off to MIPTV]

Global Agency is known in its home town of Istanbul for hosting massive, Gatsbyesque parties trimmed with bands, dance shows, and performing waitstaff at DISCOP. But the firm is no slouch on the road either, as it hits MIPTV this week with a large booth and banners, a traveling crew of 18, handpicked from across the globe, and a wide range of content both fresh and proven.

For founder Izzet Pinto, the parties and the presence are all part of building the brand, and Global is clearly a brand to watch out for. It’s been dubbed the fastest growing distribution firm in the world and, whatever your measure, this is more than hot air.

Izzet Pinto_ 2014

Global has grown by between 100% and 300% every year since it started in 2006, with just two co-workers and a single TV show, Perfect Bride. Now employing 25, including US- and UK-based staff, Global represents nearly 100 products, among them the Ottoman costume drama Magnificent Century. Having been sold to over 50 territories, Century is one of the hottest tickets globally, reaching an audience of over 200M now and perhaps more than 300M when the show starts broadcasting on China’s CCTV this summer.

In no small part due to the success of Century, Global currently has about 75% of its deals in ready-made drama, but Pinto plans to level this out with formats and fact-based content in the near future. To that end he teamed with Century production firm TIMS in 2012 to buy Australian fact-based distributor Worldwide Entertainment. Their first venture under that name is Battle of the Restaurants.

Global’s top-selling formats include Perfect Bride, which is still going strong, and Shopping Monsters, introduced in 2011. Each has covered about 30 territories. Sometimes this success can lead to conflicts. In France last year Shopping Monsters was broadcast head-to-head against another Global product, Decor Monsters. Pinto was relieved when saw both shows doing well and earning nearly identical audience shares.


Global’s latest venture is Pinto’s own brainchild, a cross-genre venture called Keep Your Light Shining. He describes it as a music game show, where 12 contestants start each episode and only one emerges at the end of the night. Noting that the audition stages of shows like The Voice were the most popular, Pinto aimed to create something fast-paced, with plenty of room for audience involvement. He’s currently working to license an app that allows viewers join in via second screens. Keep Your Light has been sold to 12 territories and is already in development in the US and Germany, with plans to air on ProSieben in May and CBS this fall.

Though he tends to favor non-scripted formats, Pinto will take on scripted content that he believes in. Global licensed the script for the popular Turkish drama Ask-i Memnu (Forbidden Love) to Telemundo, where it became Pasión Prohibida. In addition to Latin America, Pasión has traveled to France, Italy, and Pakistan. There’s currently an Armenian adaptation in production, and possibilities for Russian, Ukrainian, and Italian versions in the works.

Other scripted formats include Game of Silence, a drama about school mates drawn together after 20 years by a secret from their past, and The Last of the Magikyans, a Russian comedy about a patriarch’s difficulty adapting to his family’s modern ways.

Yes, Russia. While the majority (85%) of Global’s drama is Turkish, about 50% of its formats are from other countries, including Spain, Israel, Romania, France, and Germany. This two-way street works in part thanks to the company’s diverse staff hailing from every part of the globe. This year, as Pinto moves to drive formats sales up towards the level of drama, the name Global may fit better than ever.

Global’s Top-Sellers – with number of territories sold to

  • Drama Magnificent Century – 52
  • 1001 Nights – 49
  • Love And Punishment – 43
  • Iffet – 38
  • Dila – 32


  • Shopping Monsters – 32
  • Perfect Bride – 25
  • Keep Your Light Shining – 12
  • Blind Taste – 9
  • Rivals In Law – 8