Tue, 18 Dec 2012 01:57:54 GMT

Pak celebrities protest against Turkish serials

Karachi, Dec 17 (PTI) Pakistani media celebrities today protested against different entertainment channels in the country which have decided to air popular Turkish soaps dubbed in Urdu.

Leading actors, producers, directors, writers and other technical staff held a rally outside the Karachi Press Club and a group marched to the Governor''s house to present a protest letter to the Governor of the province.

The Pakistani television industry has been shaken by the sudden change in programming by several popular channels which have started airing Turkish serials dubbed in Urdu at prime time in the present quarter.

The trend started when a new entertainment channel with its base in Dubai known as "Urdu1" aired a popular Turkish soap "Ishq e Mamnoon".

The drama serial topped the ratings in a matter of weeks and also grabbed the bigger slice of the commercial and advertising market.

Latching onto the popularity of the Turkish drama serial, whose lead actor has now become a household name in Pakistan, other entertainment channels have followed suit and imported several other Turkish serials.

"These channels are destroying a industry which was growing well and their selfish and unpatriotic actions could leave a lot of people in the industry unemployed," popular actor, Faisal said.

He pointed out that first the local industry had to cope with the challenge of Indian soaps and now it was Turkish dramas which don''t depict any Pakistani culture or values.

Another popular actor, Huma Ashraf pointed out that what was disconcerting was that the Pakistani channels had scheduled all the Turkish serials now at prime time.

"When are we supposed to show our serials now," she questioned.

A well known producer and actor, Mukhtar alleged that while the channels paid out local production houses their dues for a serial over a six month period they were importing the Turkish serials in cash.

"It is grossly unfair to us. Some channels have even walked out of contracts with production houses who are left with completed serials with no payments and have also dropped local serials for the quarter without a warning," he said.

But a drama critic said he was surprised at the outcry by the actors and producers.

"Why don''t they protest when these channels air Indian made commercials and other content and Indian film award shows are aired on prime time. Why target Turkish serials," he said.

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