Are the Turks (soaps) really coming to kill us?

Published: December 1, 2012

Pakistani television producers and actors worry about their future careers. PHOTOS: FILE

KARACHI: 

“Ishq-e-Mamnoon” came, aired and gloriously conquered the Pakistani drama industry.  It was a bold and risky idea to air a translated series on national television but the drama received unexpectedly high ratings from the local audience.

The Urdu translation of this Turkish soap is considered to be infectious by its viewers and while some Pakistani writers, directors, and producers take it as a healthy competition, others believe it’s a grave threat.

“Our local production standards are very low; if we don’t raise them then in no time these dramas can eat us up,” says Rashid Khwaja — President of United Producers’ Association (UPA). “However, stopping the influx of foreign content is not the solution,” Khwaja tells The Express Tribune.

“The consumer will not let it happen because now we live in a global village and he will find access to it somehow but the stakeholders need to sit down and develop a new model of ‘high-scale drama production’ that is economically feasible to both, the producer and the channel,” says Khwaja.

Globally there are two TV models; in the first model, producers hold the rights to the drama and recover the cost after airing them in their own country first. After cost recovery, the drama is available for other countries at a very low rate which is when the profit rolls in. The other model is largely practised in India. The channels, instead of producers, invest in a big scale production and become sole owners of the project.

Pakistan, however, doesn’t follow either model. At an average, the production houses make serials at the cost price of  0.4 million per episode and sell it to the channel for a profit of up to 0.2 million per episode; making the producer’s profit significantly low. This scenario results in more and more low quality entertainment for the channels. According to the producers the low quality of products  is a direct result of a continuous increase in the cost of production but no increase in the selling price offered by the channels.

TV director Azfar Ali, best known for sitcom “Sab set hai,” says that it’s not always about the size of a production. “I think the arrival of these soaps should give us a chance to boost our own industry standards,” says Ali. “Frankly speaking, it’s a pleasant change in time of a vacuum.” Ali believes it’s a matter of taking risks. He disagrees with the theory that investing more or giving producers the rights of the drama is going to change anything.

“You’ll laugh if I tell you the budget of ‘Sab Set Hai,’ but it changed your language — right?” asks Ali with a laugh. “The problem is that the producers now rely too much on research to get the ratings and play it very safe; but the ones who takes risks pose a threat to the status quo.”

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Renowned Urdu writer Syed Mohammad Ahmed believes that the Turkish soaps are not only a threat to the drama industry, but also to Pakistani culture.“This is absolute cheating with the local drama industry!” says Ahmed. “You can’t get more ridiculous and insane about art then those Turkish soaps; if you think that works then we are not short of seeing a day where nude films are dubbed in Urdu and aired as well.”

“If things go on like this, then it won’t take much time for Pakistani artists to go jobless,” says Ahmed.

On the other hand, veteran television and stage writer-director Khalid Ahmed says he is glad that better quality programming is being broadcast in Pakistan; however, he also thinks that the rest of the Turkish soaps will not be as popular.

Khalid says the ratings of the Turkish soap didn’t shock him. “It didn’t surprise me at all. ‘Ishq-e-Mamnoon’ is a mega hit all over the Middle East; but to say that more Turkish soaps will have the same impact is naïve because there is a huge cultural barrier that would eventually come in to play,” says Khalid.

On the other hand, senior actor Talat Hussain believes otherwise. “These dramas show a more liberal Muslim society which our viewers want to see and feel,” says Hussain “But does that mean that these programmes should be allowed in Pakistan? Certainly not — until or unless a dubbed Pakistani drama is playing in Turkey.” Hussain also added that the cultural similarity is going to cost us.

One of the leading actors and producers in the country, Humayun Saeed, believes that not only are the producers suffering, but a coffin is also being prepared for the leading actors in the country. “Since Shahrukh Khan is the biggest actor in Pakistan, whatever remains of TV stardom will be engulfed by these Turkish serials,” says Saeed.  “I don’t want to see a future where I am going to do voice acting on someone else’s face; that is simply outrageous!”

His main concern is that the drama industry was the only industry that has continuously flourished. “If such serials start running regularly, then there will be no audience for Pakistani content,” said Saeed.

The professionals of the Pakistani drama industry have mixed opinions on what can be considered the biggest foreign invasion on Pakistani television since the Star Plus soaps. But they do agree that foreign soaps may end their careers, invade their industry and influence Pakistani culture.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (65)

  • curious
    Dec 1, 2012 - 9:50PM

    This is a tragedy. Really Pakistani television entertainment needs to be promoted more heavily. Other countries like India and Turkey would always try to flood the Pakistani market with their crap as it is a business, they want to make money for themselves. Media is so powerful and it can influence people very much. What these great Pakistani writers, producers and directors are saying is totally correct/true.

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  • Dec 1, 2012 - 10:01PM

    Don’t understand the reason why Turk soaps are gaining so popularity. My missus was watching that Ishq-e-Mamoo thing, I was shocked to see the level of skin show, innuendos, adultery and general beghairati behaviour. This show is more european than muslim or asian. Event Bollywood is light years away from the indecent things shown here.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Dec 1, 2012 - 10:08PM

    a day where nude films are dubbed in Urdu and aired as well.
    Time and date please

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  • zaid
    Dec 1, 2012 - 10:09PM

    its like saying pakistan should ban pepsi and coke in pakistan because RC cola and pakola couldnt do as well as the foreign brands…..its a chance to improve your standards…audience doesnt care what happens to your job…they want to be entertained…if you want to save your job then improve !

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  • lovePak
    Dec 1, 2012 - 10:46PM

    “You can’t get more ridiculous and insane about art then those Turkish soaps; if you think that works then we are not short of seeing a day where nude films are dubbed in Urdu and aired as well.”

    Have to agree with that, modernity has nothing to do with exposing your body more and more which is what liberals have come to believe. In that sense, animals are much more modern than human beings. I believe it is possible to create great dramas within the boundary of decency and modesty. It is not about the cast, it is much more about the storyline. I recall Mera Saaein being pretty good before. But the second version is far too political and far too vulgar. Reverting to the golden days when dramas were clean and great would be a good idea.Recommend

  • Dec 1, 2012 - 11:04PM

    PEMRA should ban this serial immediately

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  • Turk-Pak!
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:10PM

    Turkish soaps are providing a competitive environment for pakistani dramas- they are nice and well-made ;that is why we watch them!; so take it as competition and dont just cry that you are not good enough urself so turkish soaps should not be run in pakistan!!
    If that’s the case, then every other industry eg hollywood and bollywood should also be stopped and then we, the pakistanis ,would be LOCKED in a nutshell!! Even if this happens, these people will still have something to complain about!
    GROW-UP!

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  • amazed
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:12PM

    its one thing being xenophobic but its another giving others total liberty to invade….
    we already have lost a decade in countering and at last winning the battle against STAR PLUS and SONY etc dramas through our very own hitback, counterattacking but very own “HUSAFAR” and similar dramas….I foresee another decade of battling with Turkish and other dramas….if we do not stop the infulx…or at least enhance standard of all our dramas to Hamsafar……!!!!!!

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  • Dec 1, 2012 - 11:16PM

    The real show starts when there is competition! No doubt those Turks have done good production with a message that I think a chunk of Pakistani audience is not mature enough to digest. Rashid Khwaja is right that Pakistani industry is needs to raise its production standards. If you don’t do good productions then sure is the audience will look for alternates.

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  • murtaza jaffry
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:22PM

    ahhahahahahaha ohhhhh please …. not another cutural threat ………… you can not earn your living by blaming other cultures my friends. ahhahahahha arabs and middle eastern muslims are more libral than us. so what????

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  • Ibad Tariq
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:24PM

    I don’t get it, there are so many channels airing Indian soaps, then whats the problem with an Turkish Soap. Audience only watch a drama if its good enough despite of its production scale… 90% Pakistani Dramas circle around one formula (i.e. Wife issues with in-laws).. If these Pakistani producers call themselves good businessmen they should know that you constantly have to innovate to be successful in the long-term, this “safety-first” approach will take them no where….

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  • Dec 1, 2012 - 11:27PM

    I think these guys are overreacting. Why can’t Pakistani dramas show a liberal Muslim society? The Pakistani people are diverse — there are liberal and conservative Pakistanis — so why can’t the Pakistani entertainment industry be as diverse as its people?

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  • FAZ
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:35PM

    Well, we have FRIENDS running on dubbed in Punjabi and its far better than MoMo show..

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  • drama enthusiast
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:37PM

    A very timley perspective!

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  • Another Pakistani
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:47PM

    I think what our industry people have failed to realize is that we are not living in 1982. Its an an age of media and with this attitude, it will be hard for them to survive. When Star Plus invaded Pakistani homes some 10 years back, the local industry almost lost its only audience, but then they knew they had to raise their standard and they fought back with utmost brilliance giving us some of the most memorable TV serials and hitting the cross border TV content’s popularity to bottom in Pakistan.

    Now again, I think instead of feeling threatened, they should look for more avenues and try to build a sustainable model of business. In fact, they have the ability to go global. Perhaps, this is the right time for it. Go for joint productions and rope in deals with major studios, sponsors and distributors. They can never be out of the market.

    P.S. Turkish dramas are just a nice change from what audiences were watching for quiet some time on local TVs. Enjoy the good work and make your work better. After all, Hindi dubbed Hollywood movies never stopped Bollywood from growing, did it?

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  • XaR
    Dec 2, 2012 - 12:06AM

    Humayun Saeed. “I don’t want to see a future where I am going to do voice acting on someone else’s face; that is simply outrageous!”

    Dude – you are approaching your 50′s and still producing stupid love stories with yourself as a hero opposite a 20 year old girl – You have prepared a coffin for our drama industry with same monotonous stories and acting!

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  • Fahad
    Dec 2, 2012 - 12:15AM

    In any society, there will always be a demand for art that is relevant and relateable. These plays may be successful, but producers telling stories from Pakistan shouldn’t feel too threatened by them

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  • Natasha
    Dec 2, 2012 - 12:15AM

    No fun in watching dubbed content. I don’t get why they are popular.Recommend

  • A2Z
    Dec 2, 2012 - 12:25AM

    Fully agree with Syed Mohammed Ahmad. I cannot believe how censor board is allowing it be aired in Pakistan.
    They cannot kill Pakistani drama but definitely gives insight into the culture of Turkey which is following the west blindly. Pakistani drama always revolves around a subject and teaches some lesson whereas these dramas are nothing more than love affairs like indian dramas.

    These soaps cannot compete with Meri Zaat Zara-e-Benishan, Humsafar, Bilqees Kaur etc

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  • A. Khan
    Dec 2, 2012 - 1:02AM

    As always, the influx means hiding behind job security as opposed to improving the standards so much that Turkey imports Pakistani soaps. Do these artistes not realize that they cannot keep hiding behind job protection. And the comment about the culture impact is a complete red herring. If the combined might of Bollywood and Lollywood for last 60+ years have not had significant impact, then I cannot see why Turkish soaps should.

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  • Lahoria
    Dec 2, 2012 - 1:31AM

    I agree with Khalid Ahmed – I don’t think that all Turkish serials will earn the same amount of success as Ishq-e-Mamnoo. This is soley because of the cultural differences. Also, its too early too make a prediction based on one serial’s popularity.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 2, 2012 - 1:40AM

    I dont think anything is wrong with liberal muslim dramas!!! But i understand it could destroy our drama industry

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  • Tj
    Dec 2, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Who cares? Ishqemsmnoo rocks!

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  • Zubair
    Dec 2, 2012 - 2:18AM

    When you guys stop working on script and performances, use ramp models instead of actresses, and show off using big houses and big cars; Well then surprise surprise!
    The Turks can do it better than you. Anybody in Pak Drama Industry who will work harder on script, direction & performances, have nothing to fear.
    The rest of you will eventually have the same fate as Punjabi Film Industry, and deserving so.

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  • Pointlesslib
    Dec 2, 2012 - 2:27AM

    How quaint. That is tantamount to saying “Don’t show Pakistanis such high quality and professionally produced international dramas. They’ll start to realize how bad we are at acting and producing!!”
    I’ve worked in media companies and seen how dramas here are made. I can guarantee budget is the least of our worries. There is a general lack of professionalism and seriousness among the team creating the drama which is a direct result of not taking your audience seriously and respecting their level of intelligence. And of course there are the ever-so-pompous line of directors, writers and actors who feel they have learnt all there is to know about their job and refuse to change in their strict overdone formula oriented ways. Either they are too old fashioned and refuse to budge their mind from the “good old day” dramas where romance was innocent, clean and humor was at its lamest, OR they are way too liberal and “hipster” in their thinking and stir controversy and rebellion just for the sake it because its “cool” to be so scandalous. GOOD DRAMA DOES NOT MEAN GOOD BUDGET.
    So please don’t attack a fairly decent international drama and rip it to shreds with your complacent criticisms just because your own dramas are a joke in comparison. And before you get me wrong, no, this doesn’t mean sex, nudity and “liberal scenes” is the sort of improvement Pakistani dramas require.
    Oh and Pakistani actors I strongly urge you to watch this drama and see how acting is really done you might learn a thing or two.

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  • The Khan
    Dec 2, 2012 - 3:13AM

    LOL. Typical. Conservative Arabs are also complaining about the liberal Turkish soap operas eroding their values.

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  • Nahin Batao Ga
    Dec 2, 2012 - 3:40AM

    So you want us to see pathetic Pakistani rona dhona shows, want us to pathetic lollywood movies, disgusting stage shows?…

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Dec 2, 2012 - 6:04AM

    Now the Turks are at???. Indian films and soaps are sufficient to demolish the edifice of our state let alone the film industry. There is nothing we can say, do or write that does not invite the wrath of National Assembly Members, who think Dupattas are the answer to all evil. As if Dupattas are going to save us when we arrive at the pearly gates. I once asked Najam Sethi why I could not find books written by Pakistani authors in his bookshop??? He lamented, “because the readers have gone away so who is going to buy their books???”

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  • Asad
    Dec 2, 2012 - 6:55AM

    Competition is good and it should serve as a wake up call for Pakistani drama industry who seem to churn out mostly un interesting dramas at the speed of light with the same faces over and over. They wouldn’t want to end up like the film industry so they better shape up.

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  • Dec 2, 2012 - 8:25AM

    “day where nude films are dubbed in Urdu and aired as well.”

    I dont think so they say anything in nude films

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  • Zaheer Ahmed
    Dec 2, 2012 - 8:42AM

    I agree with Syed Mohammad Ahmed and Talat Hussain.

    “Would you ever let tour child eat poison?” These dramas will destroy our society.

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  • Happens
    Dec 2, 2012 - 9:52AM

    Now Pakistanis should go on a rampage , destroy Turkish embassy .How can they dare not to wear a black long gown and veil in an Islamic society ?

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  • HJ
    Dec 2, 2012 - 10:40AM

    So people what is better, Indian invasion or Turkish. I would back the second one !

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  • Khan
    Dec 2, 2012 - 12:26PM

    These Turkish operas are already aired in Afghanistan which have attracted a lot of criticism from the conservative rural Afghans and Islamic scholars because of the cultural differences and immoral “sexual affairs’ being showed in them. Most of the Afghan girls in Kabul pick their fashion trends from these Turkish operas and that’s why always end up with facing troubles from their families. It so far has done nothing good for the Afghan society except for indulging the youngsters in illicit relationships.
    The family lives shown in these operas are much much different than the family lives we’ve got here in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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  • Salman
    Dec 2, 2012 - 12:36PM

    Quality of HUM TV dramas are superb. I don’t think any Turkish or Indian drama can even come closer to HUM TV. I don’t understand whats the insecurity here is all about ?

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  • Rick Van Holden
    Dec 2, 2012 - 2:08PM

    Well Humayin Saeed can show some skin, and we’ll take it from there. . .

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  • Liberal 'Scum'
    Dec 2, 2012 - 4:30PM

    There was an uproar about the Star plus dramas around 7-8 years ago, then the audience got bored and came back to their own culturally relevant stories such as those on HUM and Geo, etc. I think the same will happen again with the Turkish soaps. Since it’s something new and different, people like it, but slowly they’ll come back. And hopefully, our own directors/producers will have learnt something from our Turkish friends.

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  • A. Khan
    Dec 2, 2012 - 6:06PM

    I recall a 50/50 (the 80′s satire/skit show) episode that had a writer showing a huge stack of papers to a producer(?). Hands the producer the first paper and says that is the beginning of the drama. Hands producer the second page and says that is the end of the drama. Whats the rest, the producer asks ? All time pass, says the writer.

    I think it is very apt for the vast majority of the soaps produced in Pakistan.

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  • Zafar
    Dec 2, 2012 - 6:24PM

    our media has no qualms about showing nonsense coverage of bollywood actors in prime time news, so why such objection to turkish ones. ary, hum, geo all play indian dramas, which really are below average in production quality, script and acting. all entertainment news are based on bollywood. no one gives a damn about local actors. sonce all this is acceptable to the media, i have no objection to turkish ones. i would like to see iranian films on my tv too, as i heard they are good.

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  • Istaburg
    Dec 2, 2012 - 8:30PM

    It’s Ashk e Memnu……not ishq e mamnoon

    Somebody please read the Turkish title before writing this

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  • rajput
    Dec 2, 2012 - 8:58PM

    SO I am sure many will support Turkish shows over Indian tv shows and bollywood. Such is the mindset in Pak that invaders like Turks and Arabs are heroes. tarek fatah was right. No1 can salvage this nation.

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  • Akshay
    Dec 2, 2012 - 9:10PM

    Turkish Muslim girls dont wear Burqa!!!! Turkey was the seat of the Caliphate…What happened to Turks?

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  • LionOfPunjab
    Dec 2, 2012 - 9:20PM

    I think we should import more soaps from our all weather friend china!!

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  • Asok
    Dec 2, 2012 - 10:32PM

    Finally, Pakistan is returning to its Turkish cultural roots. Good, good.

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  • Saad Durrani
    Dec 3, 2012 - 1:56AM

    For crying out loud, the drama is called ‘Ishq-e-Memnu’ which means ‘Forbidden Love’ whereas Rafay has a tendency to write ‘Ishq-e-Mamnoon’ which means ‘Thankful Love’.

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  • avni dogan
    Dec 3, 2012 - 7:50AM

    turkey & pakistan are brethren

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  • S.Hassan
    Dec 4, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Those crying about Pakistan’s culture should also comment about the vulgarity in Pakistani dramas.Turkish dramas are vulgar but Pakistani dramas’ vulgarity is not behind them in competition.Look at the dresses Pakistani actresses wear in dramas and the dialogues that are said…….Pakistani producers should first correct themselves.

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  • Nazir Ahmad
    Dec 6, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Is ‘liberal’ a euphemism for ‘indecent’,'vulgar’ and ‘obscene’ ?

    If sin is being sold in a high quality production, does that mean it is good ?

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  • Nazir Ahmad
    Dec 7, 2012 - 12:23AM

    I have no problem with foreign dramas as long as they are clean. The Turkish serial Aasi was good and clean – at least the version I saw on Express. Why do the objectionable scenes, that go against their cultural/religious sensibilities, have to be imposed upon the Pakistani audience ? If it was considered normal/acceptable to show sex on TV, Pakistani serials would already be showing it. What is so difficult to understand ? The motive to air this soap without any censor is obviously questionable on the part of folks who are responsible for this effort.

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  • noorilhuda
    Dec 7, 2012 - 6:23PM

    It’s just one serial and it’s not necessary that the same success will be seen by other Turkish serials. But the message has been received by Geo and Express because both are playing promos of serials which have the Ishq-i-Memnu lead actor! On the other hand, the same rhetoric that used to be shed against Indian serials is now being given for Turkish ones! First there was the problem of ‘learning’ Indian culture and language and now Turkish!!!! The reason this serial is a success is simple: it has good-looking people involved in a clandestine affair and the serial does NOT shy away from showing the affair – unlike the Pakistani serials which sugar-coat the most nefarious elements of society. And we DO live in a puritanical hypocritical society. As for the age-old criticism that these sorts of serials are vulgar and cannot be seen with ‘family’, well Parents, It’s Time You Grew Up: Don’t watch programs with your kids – they have no business watching adult prime time serials!!!!

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  • Nadeem Shah
    Dec 7, 2012 - 8:45PM

    Watching sex on national TV is certainly not a Pakistani cultural value and I prefer it that way. Nor is it a Muslim value. And that applies to adults also. Such content is actually quite distasteful. I am shocked to know that it may be acceptable in Turkey, to say the least. Even though I have seen comments on other sites by some Turks who are actually embarrassed by such content and that there is criticism in Turkey also. These soaps are also considered second rate in Turkey and not so popular there. I am pretty sure that their popularity outside Turkey does not owe to the smut (as some people claim) as I believe they are censored in the Middle East. And so should be the case in Pakistan.

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  • Moonia
    Dec 8, 2012 - 6:07AM

    I love turkish serials.They are so good,their story ,direction,acting make up everything…even better than many pakistani dramas..but I guess turkish serials are not a threat to pakistani industry in fact its a great chance to learn soo many things from them and the professionalism they have.I dont understand Why pakistani artist creating so much fuss and a particular channel started a campaign again turkush dramas..where as these people wereso happy with the indian cultural invasion and they didnt even raise their voice again that.At least turkish are not being shown praying in front of an idol as their devi devtaa or singing bhajans n saying ashloks and mantars…wearing weird make ups and loads of stuff.They dont even show hatred towards Pakistan n pakistanis…they dont even have the intesion to dossolve the TWO NATION THEORY…just let us know that there is faar more to see other than indian crap..world is making much more and its worth watching..I sipmly love turkish dramas..Pakistani director actors and producer must learn from them…
    I would alos love to see any colaberation betweeen pakistani and turkish industry..behlul is so handsome he was the best male model of the world for 2002..Actually they dont wana get us out of INDIAN INFLUENCE..THATS WHY they are happy with indian contant but threatend only by TURKISH..hah funny..what will be the most disastrous then that our kids are watching chhota bheem and such religious stuff related to hindus..first they shout take a major step on that..which is a very very serious issue..they are destroying the base of our kids.Now indian culture is a real threat orturkish?? Indian of course..

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  • Moonia
    Dec 8, 2012 - 6:15AM

    First ban all teh indian soaps,dance shows(extremly vulgar in every aspect)game shows ,reality shows movies ,cartoons liek chhota bheem and etc..all teh music channels which show only indian music n vulgar videos…Then say anything about turkish soaps..they are only 3 and our whole mediais influenced by INDIANS n trying to make them super stars here..news are full of bollywood news,magazines full of indiasn shoots..ads also indian…than It show u dont have a problem with cultural invasion but You only have a problem with teh popularity and the high quality and perfection of turkish serials..coz u think for easy money..We love turkish dramas turkish people are our brothers and sisters while we have true threat from Indian cultural invasion..which our actors dont mind cuz they can have a chance to go to india and earn some money by having 3rd classs roles.

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  • Ahsan
    Dec 9, 2012 - 7:14PM

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/313169/pakistan-maintains-top-slot-in-google-search-for-sex/
    see this link…i think it’s enough to prove that we don’t need any turkish, english or indian drama/movie to demolish our cultural values…..
    actually, it’s a brain thing……
    admiring a turkish drama doesn’t mean that we have or will forget our values and that we will stop watching pakistani content!!!

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  • Neha
    Dec 10, 2012 - 2:58PM

    As a regular watcher of this “Drama” I believe we should appreciate the quality and content of this drama regardless, whereas Pakistani writers and producers should raise their production standards rather than criticizing the Turks, they’re here for good – entertainment. There is no comparison between our dramas with that of Turks, what is required from our industry is a bit more focus on the content of our dramas. There is undoubtedly a huge audience within us who appreciates entertainment in every form. Criticism wont let us get anywhere, so its better to appreciate and see what others have lined up for us.

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  • Khan O.
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:41PM

    vulgar? I dont think its worse than Bollywood films is it? and English serials are far more vulgar. Who is telling you to watch it? Don’t watch it if you feel is inappropriate but why not let others? Can’t you just simply ignore it. And it was good to see a Turkish Serial which was a good change after watching all those pakistani serials with the same stories (divorce,saans-bahu etc)

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  • Lol
    Dec 12, 2012 - 5:13PM

    The problem with Pakistan is conspiracy theorists. Everything is considered a “threat” and some kind of “propaganda” against Pakistan. It’s seriously rubbish. Our drama industry could use this opportunity to produce world class television programs and maybe even compete abroad and earn money. But no, they’d rather sit and criticize foreign content like scared little girls. As far as religious perspective is concerned – not everyone in Pakistan is Muslim. It is up to each individual what they practice and how they practice religion. If a liberal Muslim has no problem watching a little bit of skin then that’s their headache. Allah is the judge, not the authorities of Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is also a Muslim country but they have no problem airing Turkish shows and neither does the rest of the Arab world. Entertainment industry means entertainment. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. So for all those who are getting upset over one or two Turkish shows, please learn the meaning of “live and let live”. Focus on improving other things in Pakistan like lack of basic human rights and laws. Then we will worry about Urdu1…seriously. Pakistanis have a very bad habit of BANNING everything. Facebook, YouTube, Google, Cell phones, motorcycles. And now they’re trying to ban foreign content. Soon, someone will call for a ban on breathing. Stop this nonsense. We are not animals.Recommend

  • Lol
    Dec 12, 2012 - 10:19PM

    The problem with Pakistan is conspiracy theorists. Everything is considered a “threat” and some kind of “propaganda” against Pakistan. It’s seriously rubbish. Our drama industry could use this opportunity to produce world class television programs and maybe even compete abroad and earn money. But no, they’d rather sit and criticize foreign content like scared little girls. As far as religious perspective is concerned – not everyone in Pakistan is Muslim. It is up to each individual what they practice and how they practice religion. If a liberal Muslim has no problem watching a little bit of skin then that’s their headache. Allah is the judge, not the authorities of Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is also a Muslim country but they have no problem airing Turkish shows and neither does the rest of the Arab world. Entertainment industry means entertainment. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. So for all those who are getting upset over one or two Turkish shows, please learn the meaning of “live and let live”. Focus on improving other things in Pakistan like lack of basic human rights and laws. Then we will worry about Urdu1…seriously. Pakistanis have a very bad habit of BANNING everything. Facebook, YouTube, Google, Cell phones, motorcycles. And now they’re trying to ban foreign content. Soon, someone will call for a ban on breathing. Stop this nonsense. We are not animals.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 15, 2012 - 4:18AM

    @TightPatloon:
    are you kidding me bollywood is better ? really what they show in their series have you ever seen such crap, don’t they show adultery ??? such characters where women are wearing mines and micro mines and doing item number and etc and that so called ” Katrina kaif ” is actually official allowed on our bill boards all over country exposing her body condemning women’s sophistication and character which she portrays in that add feels like some desperate freak n let me tell you all the double standard in their movies as well as in their drama ladies getting pregnant without marriages and stuff now is that called decency in your dictionary ?? i’m not in favor of such turkish drams but dont insult them by comparing with indian drama series or that cheap bollywood because we need to support our content which has no comparison with them thank you

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  • sarah
    Dec 16, 2012 - 3:37PM

    If the Pakistani media people expect us not to watch foreign content they should either work to improve the scripts of the local serials to bring it at par with the foreign content or not allow the airing of foreign content in the first place……….it is hypocritical to air foreign content on local channels and not expect the viewers to watch it just because it is affecting the ratings of the local content…..the viewers will watch whatever they find interesting regardless of whether the content if foreign or local………….otherwise just simply ban the airing of foreign programmes if they are such a threat to the local media

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  • Liz
    Dec 18, 2012 - 3:34AM

    i LOVE ISHQ E MEMNUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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  • Graphic Guru
    Dec 18, 2012 - 2:46PM

    @Abdullah: hahahahahaha!

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  • BigAppleCharm
    Dec 19, 2012 - 9:10AM

    Personally, I think that the fact that Pakistan is embracing Turkish and other international dramas is great. It should have happened way sooner! As an American born Pakistani, I’ve always been interested in somehow connecting to the culture and lifestyle of Pakistan, and I’ve been doing that in part by watching Pakistani dramas with my mom since I was little. I remember that I always used to check the time every night and turn the tv on at exactly 8 to watch some drama or other on channels like PTV and Geo. I don’t know if it was because of my age or my view on appropriate television show standards, but during that time, I thought that Pakistani dramas were interesting, well-developed, and overall enjoyable. Nowadays, whenever there’s no American or British show on to watch, I usually switch to some Pakistani channel, and am almost always disappointed. The drama serials being produced these days on the numerous Pakistani channels available in America are terrible! Sure, there are some dramas that are pretty good, like Humsafar, but it seems like they only come around once or twice a year. All of the mediocre, badly written, and ill produced shows that fill in the hours on desi channels are a complete waste of money. Either desi channels show dramas that have the same old story plot, or repeat there old dramas continuously, like in the case of Geo TV. I happened to find out about the old Turkish drama which ended originally a couple of years ago, Asi, out of blue when I was flipping through some channels and stopped on Express. Honestly, I think that Asi is one of the best dramas I have seen in a while. The somewhat Pride and Prejudice theme incorporated into traditional Turkish farm lifestyle is really interesting. So what if its dubbed in Urdu and is originally in a different language? It has a great cast of awesome actors, beautiful scenery, and a great eye for detail. Even though a lot of Turkish dramas aren’t as conservative when is comes to religion as those made in Pakistan, and many people are protesting them due to this, Pakistani dramas cannot compete with their range of appeal at this stage. Even though some of the international dramas being introduced to the Pakistani audience aren’t necessarily “clean” or “pure”, this is certainly not the case for all of them. If the Pakistani people want more Turkish and international dramas, then why not give them just that? In my opinion, the Pakistani drama industry is ultimately heading towards disaster. The use of the same bunch of actors (most of which have now aged and should not be acting in roles where they are depicted as being 20 years younger) and story-lines has already gotten old. If the drama industry doesn’t want to continue to decline, then I would recommend that they focus on spending their money on large projects set in different countries and cities, since location really adds to everything, and overseas Pakistani really want to see diversity and development mixed with traditional Pakistani entertainment. Or, they should consider further building their new generation of actors by adding more people WHICH CAN ACTUALLY ACT, and not just filling up the holes with pretty faces……

    -15-year-old high school student

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  • sattar
    Dec 24, 2012 - 7:05AM

    its not about what humayun saeed or these old boring drama producers who only knows how to make the same drama with the same old stories.. its about want the audience want not about what actors and drama producers want you cant come with some thing good so you want a good running thing stoped? this is ridicules!! ishq mamnoon has shown its success in pakistan where there are so many conflicts different opinions but still people have shown there love towards it that means that people have no problems with it ……plus its a tough world at this point our tv industry is crying and whining about how to stop this stop that you want it to stop? start making some good quality dramas maybe then people will forget about turkish dramas and about censor policy as our ramp models are covered ? i think pakistans fashion industry is only making cloths that can show full cleavage what about that ? its time you give the public good entertainment or turkish soaps we are waiting for you.

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  • Loki
    Jan 4, 2013 - 2:44AM

    @S.Hassan:
    Whats wrong if pakistani actresses wear western clothes?

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