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isten in English

Turkish TV Banned

Published: 3.14.2018
Level 5   |   Time: 3:11
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (3.07.2018)

Turkish soap operas and dramas are being banned in Saudi Arabia to stop the spread of Turkish soft power.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • forbidden [adj] - not allowed, banned
  • a soap opera [n] - a TV show about the daily events in the lives of the same group of characters
  • the Arab World [n] - Middle Eastern and North African countries
  • a broadcaster [n] - a TV station or company
  • a TV outlet [n] - a TV station
  • soft power [n] - use of economic or cultural influence
  • regional appeal [n] - popular in a specific region
  • a cleric [n] - a religious leader
  • Ramadan [n] - the ninth month of the Muslim year when fasting is required from sunrise to sunset
  • Eid al-Fitr [n] - the end of Ramadan
  • undermine [v] - damage or weaken
  • vague [adj] - unclear
  • salacious [adj] - focused on sexual matters
  • titillating [adj] - creating sexual excitement or interest
  • alienate [v] - cause to feel alone or isolated
  • a knock-on effect [exp] - a secondary or indirect effect
  • drive [v] - cause
  • Gulf tourists [n] - tourists from the Arabian Gulf countries
  • a set [n] - the place where a TV show is filmed
  • the Ottoman Empire [n] - the former Turkish empire lasting from the 1300s to the 1900s
  • dub [v] - put spoken words added to a movie or TV show that translate it into another language
  • subtitle [v] - put text at the bottom of a movie or TV show that translate it into another language
  • mass appeal [n] - popular with most people
  • off the back of [exp] - because of

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. What type of TV show is Forbidden Love?
    A comedy
    A talk show
    A soap opera

  2. Who has stopped broadcasting Turkish TV dramas?
    A British TV station
    A Turkish TV station
    An Arab TV station

  3. What may be the reason for these Turkish TV programs being banned?
    To reduce Turkey's soft power.
    Because of the sexual content.
    Because the programs are not popular.

  4. Where are these Turkish TV programs popular?
    Mostly inside Turkey
    Mostly outside of Turkey
    Both inside and outside of Turkey

  5. Previously, a Saudi cleric spoke out against ____.
    the immorality of the programs
    the loss of traditional culture
    watching foreign produced entertainment

  6. The host says that the soap operas are often "crimes against good taste." What does he mean?
    They show too much violence.
    They are low quality.
    They are too focused on Arab issues.

  7. What are some of the features of the TV shows that are considered problematic?
    Too much violence.
    Too much sexual content.
    Too many political messages.
    Too much religious content.

  8. Why are Turkish dramas so popular in Saudi Arabia?
    They depict a culture that is exactly the same as Saudi culture.
    They depict a culture that is a little different from Saudi culture.
    They depict a culture that is vastly different from Saudi culture.

  9. What effect has the popularity of these TV programs had?
    They have increased tourism in Turkey.
    They have increased tourism in Saudi Arabia.
    They have improved the image of Turkey.
    They have increased construction in Turkey.

  10. In what countries have these TV programs become popular?
    Southern European countries
    The Balkan countries
    Central Asian countries
    North African countries
    Middle Eastern countries

  11. Why does the woman think the soap operas have become so popular?
    They are dubbed/subtitled in a Syrian dialect.
    They are high quality.
    They use popular actors.

  12. Why was the Syrian dialect of Arabic chosen?
    It is the Arabic dialect spoken in Turkey.
    It is the most common dialect of Arabic.
    It is the easiest Arabic dialect to understand.

  13. What became popular because of a popular Turkish TV show?
    Going to the same cafe that the characters often went to.
    Wearing the same clothes that the characters wear.
    Naming children after the characters.

triangle Script

Forbidden Love is a hugely popular Turkish television soap opera, and forbidden is about right because now the Arab world's largest private broadcaster has stopped showing Turkish television programmes and most importantly the hugely popular Turkish soaps. A spokesman for the Dubai based MBC Group simply said there is a decision to remove all Turkish drama off several TV outlets in the region as tensions rise between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Some see this as a move to limit Turkey's soft power in the region. Dan Damon spoke to Alex Scott, a Turkish writer and author of Turkish Awakening, a personal discovery of modern Turkey. She began by telling him about the appeal of Forbidden Love.

That was just huge. And in fact some episodes were watched even more outside Turkey than they were within Turkey. So it's important to remember just how much regional appeal these soap operas have. In fact Saudi has acted before. A Saudi cleric spoke out about how immoral these shows were, especially when people were watching them during Ramadan, after estar, after the fast breaking meal in the evenings. So there is a sense that these shows are almost too popular in a cultural sense, not just in the political sense, which obviously this latest decision is connected to.

I mean some soap operas, I don't know about these ones, can be crimes against good taste. But what are the tricolor soap operas accused of doing it to undermine society?

Well the charges are always quite vague for obvious reasons. The clerics don't want to get into the salacious details, but there's kissing on screen. There's forbidden love. And it's all designed to be sort of pleasantly titillating for the average viewer. The appeal, I think, is explained by the fact that Turkey is both relatable and slightly exotic, slightly more Westernized than the average Saudi Emirati audience in this case. So they can relate to what they see, but it's not quite alienating as say a Western soap.

So one of the knock on effects of the popularity of these Turkish soap operas in the Middle East is that it drives tourism in a huge way. I mean I've lived in Turkey for several years. and even I noticed this huge rise in Gulf tourists to Turkey. Because what they do is they see these amazing sets onscreen and they want to visit.

And not just in terms of its financial achievements, but in terms of its influence as well because I guess these soap operas are very good at creating good feelings about Turkey as a regional power.

Absolutely. They're hugely influential. And what's really interesting is to look at the countries where they're most popular because when you look it on the map, it's like this sort of digitalised renaissance of the Ottoman Empire. They're hugely popular in the Balkans. Central Asia, they're very popular. And the Middle East. And the key to thehuge mass appeal. There was a show called Nauv???, which the two central characters, the lovers, their names became very popular names in the Middle East off the back of that show. That's how much influence they have.

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