Turkish series in Spain

Turkish series in Spain: the secrets behind its success

The content manager of AtresMedia Group, who in 2018 decide to bring Turkish series to Spain, explains the reasons for their success.

The enormous success and popularity of Turkish series in Spain has surprised everyone, as acknowledged this week by José Antonio Antón, Deputy Director of contents in Atresmedia Media Group and one of those responsible for bringing Turkish soap operas to Spain since in 2018 the first Turkish series broadcasted in the country, Fatmagül, broke audience records.

In an interview published just a few days ago by the newspaper El Confidencial, it is noted that for the second time since 2010, in January Atresmedia managed to surpass its eternal rival, the Mediaset Media Group – owner of the generalist channels Telecinco and Cuatro in Spain – thanks to their decision to transfer the successful series “Mujer” (Woman) from the thematic channel Nova, and broadcast it in prime time on Antena 3 channel.

The phenomenon of Turkish series in Spain has been such that Mediaset has also ended up surrendering to Turkish productions and also broadcasting series from this country, although without achieving the success achieved by the premieres of Atresmedia such as “Mi hija” (My Daughter, or Kızım in Turkish).

“Turkish series have been triumphing around the world for decades,” said Antón when explaining why Atresmedia decided to bet on these productions – which had already been reaping enormous success in Latin America since 2014 – premiering in 2018 “Fatmagül” (Fatmagül’ün suçu ne?, in Turkish): a decision that revolutionised television audiences in Spain and that would mean the arrival of the worldwide phenomenon of Turkish series to Spain.

“Its protagonists are stars, equalling those of Hollywood”

“We were confident that a product of such quality would be well received in our country… We have had the opportunity to visit several filming of these series and what stands out the most is the enormous professionalism of the teams that produce them”, underlines Antón.

“It is impressive how they do it, showing that they have a very consolidated industry. Its protagonists are true stars, equalling and surpassing even those in Hollywood in fame. We think that they are a worldwide phenomenon that triumphs due to their high quality“, he adds.

These series cover all genres: drama, comedy, thriller, romance, police, historical… Turkey has become the 2nd exporter of audiovisual fiction in the world, only behind the US. Its series are triumphing all over the world, and they have achieved this by developing a very high-level industry for more than 20 years, with high-budget productions, magnificent scripts and actors, outdoor filming…”, he says.

“Turkish series have exceeded expectations”

Antón also denied during the interview that in Turkish series they try to “make up” the cultural differences between Turkey and Spain. “Turkey is a very varied country, in which modernity and tradition come together, and this is reflected in its fiction series. I don’t think they “make up” differences because, in the end, Istanbul is a big city that is not so different from the big cities of the Americas or Europe”, he said.

Although the success of Turkish series in Spain has surprised everyone, and the number of series on the air now is about 15, not all Turkish soap operas have had the same success and some were even withdrawn because of their small audience; however, this has not happened with the series chosen by Atresmedia, which “have exceeded expectations and have been broadcast full”, underlines the group’s content manager. Asked about his favourite Turkish series, he opts for Fatmagül, “for having been the pioneer”.