Domino Lectures: The Popular Geopolitics of Turkish TV Series in India
Date: May 23, 2023 – Tuesday
The Popular Geopolitics of Turkish TV Series in India
The series titled ‘Domino Lectures’ are organized by İstanbul Bilgi University Media and Communication Systems Graduate Program.
Yasemin Y. Çelikkol
Inspired by their resounding success in Pakistan, Indian television channel Zindagi broadcast Turkish TV series in India for the first time in 2015. Though Zindagi morphed into a paid streaming service and there are few Turkish serials on cable television, Indian viewers continue to watch Turkish TV series on streaming services, alternative circuits (Pandit and Chattopadhyay, 2021), and even flash drives. Kashmiris shared Resurrection: Ertugrul on flash drives after India imposed internet shutdowns following the repeal of Article 370 and Kashmir’s special status (Javaid, 2019). According to The Times of India, Resurrection: Ertugrul “sets new battleground for Indians, Pakistanis” (Sharma, 2020). What is the battle and how did Turkish TV series set a new battleground between India and Pakistan? What is the public discourse of Turkish TV series in India? What can popular culture reveal about geopolitics? These are the questions that we pursue in this multilingual, interdisciplinary study of Hindi, Urdu, and English articles, YouTube videos and social media conversations. We scrutinize findings through neo-Ottoman cool, Kraidy and Al-Ghazzi’s (2013) concept which accounts for the popularity of Turkish TV series in the Arab world. According to neo-Ottoman cool, Turkish TV series are counterhegemonic, decenter the West, and present an accessible modernity; an enticing alternative to lifestyles that are incompatible with Western liberalism. Additionally, we view popular culture and world politics as a continuum (Grayson, Davies and Philpott, 2009) and analyze findings as such.
Yasemin Y. Celikkol studies global communication with an emphasis on transnational media, geopolitics, and culture. She is the Inaugural Global Postdoctoral Scholar at Northwestern University in Qatar. Her research interests concern globalized Turkish TV series, as well as fashion hegemony, and epistemic justice. Her work has appeared in various outlets, including the International Journal of Communication and the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Her books and articles have also been published in Turkey and Japan. Celikkol pursued her education in Bulgaria, the US, and Japan. She holds a BA in Politics from New York University, an MA in Language Education from International Christian University in Tokyo; an MS in Intercultural Communication, and an MA and PhD in Communication from University of Pennsylvania. Celikkol is multilingual (Bulgarian, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, etc.).
Sashreek Garg is a sophomore at Northwestern University in Qatar and is pursuing a degree in Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, with double minors in Strategic Communications and Media & Politics from Georgetown University in Qatar. Sashreek's academic interests lie in the realm of research in the Global South, with a particular focus on the Indian Subcontinent and he was recently appointed as a Global Undergraduate Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Global South. Sashreek's current research endeavors involve the production of a research documentary with a focus on Tibetans in exile in India. His research aims to shed light on the political and social circumstances of marginalized communities and contribute to a greater understanding of the issues affecting the Global South. Sashreek has also been awarded an undergraduate research grant from Northwestern University to further his exploration of gender stereotyping and harassment on social media, particularly emphasizing the attacks against Rana Ayyub and women journalists in India.
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