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Lesson Transcript

Ece: Merhabalar! I’m Ece!
Gina: And I’m Gina. Welcome back to TurkishClass101.com! This is All About, Lesson 10 - Popular Culture in Turkey. What are the main topics we’ll learn about in this lesson, Ece?
Ece: Turkish television, popular Turkish people abroad, music, sports, and pop culture in general..

Lesson focus

Gina: Great! Let’s get started with popular television in Turkey.
Ece: There are numerous channels that broadcast across the country, and overseas by cable or satellite connections. The first channel, which also belongs to the state, is called Radio and Television of Turkey, or TRT in short.
Gina: But TRT is not just one channel, right?
Ece: Right. TRT or TRT has many subchannels, and each of them serves different purposes. TRT 1 is a general family channel. The other prominent subchannels are for culture, sports, remote education, documentaries, news, children’s programs, and broadcasting in the Kurdish and Arabic languages.
Gina: Is that all the Turkish TV channels?
Ece: Oh no, there are many of them! The most popular national channels are Kanal D, ATV, Star and Show TV, which air various types of shows. There are also hundreds of local channels, apart from those that have one particular theme, like music, news, sports and so on.
Gina: What types of programs are aired on the national channels?
Ece: Whatever you can imagine - movies, dramas, documentaries, art programs, political discussions, sports matches, cartoons and animes, travel shows, talk shows, entertainment and contests, referendums, cooking and house arts, both Turkish or foreign. Sometimes we have adapted versions of European or American shows too.
Gina: Which one is more common, subbing or dubbing?
Ece: On the national channels, no program is aired with subtitles - they are always in Turkish. Luckily, Turkey has a lot of good voice actors.
Gina: That’s very interesting! How about the international channels?
Ece: The global channels like CNN, CNBC, TNT, MTV, Natural Geographic and Discovery are all broadcast in Turkish.
Gina: Okay, moving on. Can you name some of the Turkish people who are popular abroad?
Ece: The first one that comes to mind is Mehmet Öz.
Gina: You mean Doctor Oz?
Ece: Yes, he’s better known that way. His father went to the States as a medical resident, and Doctor Öz was born there. He was the first doctor in the world to use robotics in cardiovascular surgery, and he’s recognized as the cardiology authority today.
Gina: He has many scientific awards, as well as honorific titles like "healer of the millennium" and "tomorrow's global leader".
Ece: Like Doctor Öz, there are other Turkish scientists who are either authorities in their fields, or pioneers of new fields. For example, one of the pioneer geneticists in the world is Oktay Sinanoğlu. He is the youngest scientist to have earned the full professor title from Yale University, at the age of 26.
Gina: He is known as ‘Turkish Einstein’, right?
Ece: Yes, he received highly prestigious awards from Germany, Japan and Mexico. Now let’s mention some people from literature like Orhan Pamuk.
Gina: In recent years, his novels have received a lot of attention, and have been translated into 50 languages in more than 100 countries.
Ece: Apart from being an author, he is also an academic. He was honored with a Nobel Prize in literature in 2006.
Gina: Now let’s talk a bit about popular music in Turkey.. Among the western genres like rock, pop, hip-hop, R and B, electronic, and metal, how many are popular in Turkey?
Ece: All of them! We have singers, bands and DJs in all kinds of genres, as well as other genres like jazz and opera, along with classical and traditional Turkish music.
Gina: Let’s focus on pop and rock only. How can you compare them to their Western counterparts?
Ece: There are bands and artists who prefer a Western style, but they usually do a fusion of Turkish and Western. Turkish folk instruments and melodies are often found in rock and pop tracks. That’s how our artists have come to contribute to rock music with subgenres like Anatolian rock and Sufi rock.
Gina: And pop?
Ece: Turkish pop has a unique and eclectic sound.
Gina: In the lesson notes, you can find sample song suggestions, listeners. How about foreign bands and artists?
Ece: Sure, whoever’s famous in the rest of the world, is known in Turkey too. British rock bands and American pop stars are always popular, and recently Korean singers and Japanese bands have been in the spotlight too. People also like to discover unknown artists by themselves.
Gina: How about boy bands and girl bands?
Ece: There are some, but they aren’t as popular as solo artists.
Gina: I see. Now let’s move on to sport… Which one is the most popular?
Ece: Definitely soccer. The Turkish league is very competitive and exciting!
Gina: There are Turkish teams in the European league, world cup, and other international fields as well. After soccer comes basketball, right?
Ece: Yes. There are some Turkish players in the NBA. We have great success in some international basketball leagues. For example, in the FIBA 2010 competition, the Turkish team got a silver medal behind the States.
Gina: And Turkey does well in volleyball too.
Ece: Yes, especially the Turkish women’s national team! In 2010 and 2011, they won the world cup, along with numerous European championships.
Gina: Are there any other popular sports?
Ece: In oil wrestling and other traditional sports, we always collect medals in the Olympics and other tournaments. Our male and female athletes have broken records in weightlifting many times. Motor sports, fencing, aerial sports, sailing and rafting are also quite popular in Turkey. The vast landscape of the country offers perfect winds and currents for all kinds of extreme sports. We also enjoy hosting various sport tournaments like the FIBA Cup, the FORMULA1, UNIVERSIADE, and the UEFA Cup. The European capital of sports for 2012 was chosen to be Istanbul.
Gina: Sounds fun… One last question - how popular is international contemporary culture in Turkish daily life?
Ece: Well, for us, any kind of art or music is worthy of respect. We’ve always welcomed other cultures and knowledge from other nations. International trends find their place in Turkey as well, whether fashion or electronics.
Gina: Okay listeners, we’ve learned some important things about popular culture in Turkey in this lesson, and we’ll leave it there.
Ece: We’ll see you for the next lesson!


Gina: Until next time, bye everyone!
Ece: Hoşça kalın!