Turkish drama:

Soft power for the Erdogan strategy.

Media is one of the most important strategic tools used by States to achieve their major political goals and this has made cinema and drama part of the media system, exercising a dangerous capacity for framing and directing things that are no less threatening and lethal than classic weapons which was relied on in conventional inter-State wars. The basis of the analysis remains essentially linked to the strategic dimensions of the impact of these toxic media materials on Arab viewer and their subversive projections on Arab and Islamic identity, away from technical assessment and criticism.
The historical context of the beginning of the Turkish drama breakthrough:

The focus on drama, as one of the arms of the Turkish strategy to serve the “caliphate” projects, only emerged when Erdogan became The Prime Minister of Turkey in (2003), especially after Europe turned its back on Turkey’s request to join the European Union to turn Erdogan into the man of the West in the region and one of the tools for the implementation of new Middle East projects, which required a radical change in the behavioral structure of the Arab citizen through the process of intellectual, civilizational and hobbyism appropriation as a prelude to the application of new regional realities. 

In this context, the year 2007 is the real beginning of Arab screenplay with Turkish drama productions after the first Turkish series. “The Rose Wreath,” which was shown dubbed on the screen of MBC, as the success of this series encourages many producers who have flooded Arab satellites with Turkish drama productions, in a desire to gain physical profit from broadcast rights and publicity links, as a result Turkey’s “Soft Power” continued to launch the Erdogan agendas in the Arab region, and the series of moral decay and the decline of the general taste of the Arab viewer, who has been held back by the process of appropriation of Turkish drama, which has targeted both the individual, the family and the society.

Strategic dimensions of analysis:

In order to determine the levels of analysis in our relationship with addressing the role of Turkish drama in serving the most prominent political objective of the new Ottomans, we must place the dramatic media tool within the levels of Turkish politics in its new Erdoganic orientation. 

From this point of view, the determination of the Turkish State’s greater political objective has forced the Turkish decision maker to move a range of sectors that operate in parallel and in an integrated manner to serve this objective (diplomacy, economy, media, religious policy, military strategy, art and culture…). This is called the “grand strategy” level in the words of the British strategic theorist Basel Liddell Hart or the “absolute strategy” in the words of the French strategist Andrei Bouffer, and then the level of the strategy, that is, the direct response discharged and downloaded at the operational theater level (Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia…). Then the level of tactic is to manage battles in isolation in the service of specific objectives.

It can be said that the Turkish strategy of the “neo-Ottoman” era was defined as a radical change after Ottoman colonialism was trying to subjugate Arab regions by trying to “leave out” these countries by changing curricula and dictionaries and even deporting indigenous citizens and replacing them with Turkish settlers. (Berlik Travel Incident,), to change the attitude of Ankara’s rulers towards adopting a new strategy that basically “arabize ” the Turkish agenda and promotes it through media to enter Arab homes more smoothly and to work on leaving Arabs out civilly, ideologically and ethnically. (Not necessarily linguistically) exploited by the complicity of Islamic political organizations that see Istanbul as the historic capital of the Islamic Caliphate after Egypt was, until recently, their spiritual and organizational incubator.

Turkish drama: Objectives of colonialism and proliferation contexts

Turkish drama has benefited from the vacuum phase of Arab drama through the weakness of Arab production, which has been almost entirely dependent on Egyptian and Syrian serials and less on Gulf drama, In addition, the radiation of Mexican series, which swept through Arab screens in the 1990s and 2000s, was subdued. 

In the face of this vacuum, which coincided with the proliferation of satellite channels, Turkey took advantage of the opportunity to flood Arab screens with dubbed drama productions, through which Ankara wanted to achieve a set of strategic objectives, primarily:

– Contributing to the promotion of Turkish tourism through intelligence in the selection of scenes and filming venues, that encourage many people to visit Turkey, resulting in Ankara benefiting from the millions of tourists who contributed to the financing of the Turkish treasury with foreign currency. 

– The attempt to polish black Ottoman history, the era of which was a gap in the history of Islamic civilization through the intellectual and civilizational inertia caused by this brutal colonization, that was accompanied by the massacres committed by the Ottoman Turks in the Arab region, which they subjected to the logic of iron and fire.

– Presenting the Turkish character with a perfect view and an aesthetic incarnation has led some of their lyricists to believe in the Turkish exception until some real or legendary historical figures have been amplified, and this caused the Arab recipient to fall as a prey to the Turkish Propaganda, which presented itself as a policeman of the region and a legitimate representative of the Sunni Muslim world.

– To try to destroy the foundations of the identity of Arab Islamic civilization by diluting public taste and destroying the institution of the family, all of which are preparations for the construction of a Turkish civilization on the ruins of the leading figure of Arab Muslim society. To that end, the Turkish drama promoted the legalization of consensual sexual relations outside the institution of marriage, the promotion of abortion and the moral decay of incest, which contributed to a deep fracture that led to the disintegration of family relations, the beating of public decency and the establishment of mock Islamic manifestations that intersected with the authenticity of the conservative behavioral structure of Arab and Islamic societies.

This momentum in Turkish drama has been matched by the recruitment of a range of Turkish – funded media platforms, social media sites and accounts funded by Turkey to devote new “soft power” to Ankara and create a new strategic environment that is ready to accept Turkish intervention directly and indirectly. This ideological and ethnic penetration was aided by the role played by the Muslim Brotherhood as an ideological godfather who embraced the Turkish project and promoted it within the Arab States as a prelude to the political and ideological subjugation of the Arab world to Ankara and the Muslim Brotherhood in what could be likened to the “Erdogan-Brotherhood Pact.”