SERIES Vol. 8 No. 2 – Call for Papers: Capturing the New Dynamics of Turkish Television Series: Disjunctions and Continuities


Ece Vitrinel (Galatasaray University)
Yesim Kaptan (Kent State University)
Ece Algan (California State University, San Bernardino)

After a three-decade period of financial and cultural success, Turkish TV series have been recognized as a compelling agent in the global cultural milieu. Despite numerous studies on Turkish TV series, the ever-changing content and burgeoning markets of these dramas – as well as the controversial discursive spaces surrounding them – continue to call for further scrutiny and research. This special issue of Series: International Journal of TV Serial Narratives invites papers that explore societal, cultural, and industrial implications of Turkish TV series in Turkey and across the world via an analysis of their content, production, distribution, and reception.

With the global attention it has garnered due to their unique content and style, Turkish TV series signal the new contours of changing circulation, distribution and exhibition practices of international TV markets while igniting various political and cultural debates in Turkey and abroad. A wide range of themes – such as stark contrasts of life in urban and rural, terrorism, mafia-government relations, romantic love, sexual harassment, marriage, adultery, traditional family values, religious sentiments, and nationalist sentiments – have long dominated the narratives of Turkish TV series. However, the content of these series has been undergoing significant transitions due to a number of domestic factors, such as the launch of Netflix Turkey and local digital platforms, the shift of focus in AKP’s domestic and foreign policies, the rise in the dissemination of nationalist and religious content, increasing regulatory pressure over TV broadcast, and the change in TV ratings system that resulted in a measurement panel with a more conservative audience. More conventional content that focuses on Turkish traditional family values and the ‘glorious’ historical past has flourished, along with what Iwabuchi calls “culturally odorless” content, seen in a wide variety of genres, such as thrillers, fantasy dramas, suspense, detective, and crime fiction. These changes in the domestic context have been further exacerbated by global demands, which compelled the industry to produce content for the global digital platforms that is capable of competing with TV series in international markets. The Turkish TV industry’s wider global distribution has also resulted in Turkish TV series reaching diverse audiences from Europe to Africa and from Latin America to Southwest Asia with various religious, cultural, ethnic, and national backgrounds.

In this special issue, we are interested in submissions that provide a critical assessment of the local and global transformations revolving around content, production, circulation, and reception of Turkish TV series. We welcome contributions from a variety of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives that explore a range of themes including, but not limited to:

  • Representations and reception of social class, race, ethnicity, nationalism, minorities,  LGBTQ+, gender, religion, age, youth
  • Depiction of family, liberal and/or conservative values, orientalism, occidentalism, capitalism, socialist, and collectivistic ideologies 
  • Representation and reception of controversial and/or taboo subjects 
  • Audience experiences of and reactions to Turkish TV series in the world
  • Representation and reception of historical dramas and the rise of Turkish cultural power 
  • Global North and Global South dynamics and the dichotomies of East-West, modernity/tradition, urban/rural, public/private spheres
  • The impact of state censorship, new laws and regulations on Turkish TV series’ narratives
  • New dynamics of production and distribution of the Turkish TV series within and outside of Turkey
  • Changing practices and formats of the Turkish TV industry in the era of global and local streaming services
  • Political and cultural controversies around Turkish TV series 

Deadline for submissions: Full papers must be submitted before August 22, 2022 to undergo the peer-review process.

In their submissions, authors must indicate that it is an article for this special issue. Inquiries about the special issue should be addressed to Ece Vitrinel (

We encourage those who are interested in submitting full papers to contact the special issue editors with their brief ideas. 

Proposed articles must comply with the journal's submission and style rules:

Publication: December 2022