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Smart thinking from the people running the content business.

TIMS&B's Savcı and Sağyaşar on Turkish trends

C21 talks industry trends with Turkish producers Timur Savcı and Burak Sağyaşar, chairman and CEO respectively of TIMS&B Productions, the Istanbul-based prodco behind hit dramas such as Bitter Lands and Magnificent Century.

Timur Savcı

How do you explain the ongoing worldwide boom in Turkish drama?
Timur Savcı: The global boom in Turkish drama is largely due to the fact that it is good content rooted in powerful storylines that feed on the rich culture, colourful history and unique geopolitical status of the country. The dynamic soul of the series that are produced resonate with audiences worldwide because they encompass something from the East and the West alike and are not unique to Turkish people.

How has the drama boom impacted the availability and cost of talent in Turkey?
Savcı: With the entry of multiple global players into the market, right now there is inflation in the cost of productions, which negatively affects the availability of top talent across the board and keeps driving up their costs immensely.

Burak Sağyaşar

How has streaming changed the tone and format of Turkish drama?
Savcı: Streaming has changed the format of Turkish drama more than the tone. It has changed the business model in Turkey and stirred up the marketplace quite a bit. This has led to an inflation in costs with an emphasis on quantity more than quality. It led to many projects being launched that weren’t completely ready to see the light of day. This may have caused a depreciation in the eyes of the audience as a result of this bombardment of content.

Furthermore, the US digital platforms have made an aggressive entry to the market and at first tried to implement their formulas here in Turkey. However, they soon realised that it doesn’t work so well because the Turkish audience prefers our own originality and content that stays true to our core and unique style.

Deception is your latest drama to be distributed by Inter Medya. Can you tell me what this ATV series is about?

Burak Sağyaşar: Deception is about a respectable family court judge who thinks she has the perfect life with her husband of 30 years and two grown-up children – a picture-perfect life based on trust and unconditional love. Yet when one day, by sheer coincidence, she unravels a secret, the rest is all downhill from there. She realises her happy family is far from a loving home and more a castle built on sand, which she has to come to terms with.

Deception follows a judge whose family life is disrupted by a secret

How will the international drama business change in 2023?
Savcı: There is an inflation of productions that is undeniable right now because there is high demand from local broadcasters as well as global platforms for original productions. It’s a temporary situation, but it looks like it will continue through the next couple of years.

The way we see it, it’s a game where the motto is: may the best one win. So we try to stay in the game without compromising our principles because we are in this for the long haul. We are decidedly not interested in different models to make a quick buck to get a bigger piece of the pie or hit and run and not look at what that does to our market. We plan to use our production capacity to its maximum to be able to provide the optimal performance without getting worked up over the plethora of new propositions.