Turkish Transnational Television Symposium

Sixth Annual Turkish Studies Symposium

Turkish Transnational Television:

Reshaping of Diaspora Identities in Europe and the Rise of a Regional Cultural Hegemon

April 27

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Levis Faculty Center (Music Room, 2nd Floor)

919 W Illinois, Urbana


Symposium Webpage

In a pronounced shift in foreign policy, Turkey now is playing a more independent, active and important role in the Middle East and displaying its reaction more prominently to a lack of European Union progress in offering Turkey full membership in the community. Politics and culture go hand in hand. The increasing influence Turkey is projecting through its foreign policy throughout the region has received significant attention in international media and academia. However, an equally important yet entirely new phenomenon—transnationalization of Turkish television—has not been fully addressed. More specifically, Turkish TV serials have emerged as significant instruments of foreign policy and cultural diplomacy. They also present a new way of creating connections to the Turkish diaspora in Europe and building a transnational Turkish public. These transformative developments warrant careful discussion.

Across Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, Turkish and Arabic speaking populations are tuning in to the numerous satellite channels that broadcast Turkish and Arabic-dubbed TV series and soap operas. This half-day symposium aims to understand the complex connections between media use, cultural belonging and worldviews. It will address the implications of the transnationalization of Turkish television for the Turkish and Arab immigrants’ experiences and identities in Europe as well as the increased popularity of Turkish TV series in regions from the Middle East to the Balkans to Central Asia.


Beyazit Akman, Illinois State University
Omar Al-Ghazzi, University of Pennsylvania
Myria Georgiou, London School of Economics
Dima Issa, University of Balamand, Beirut

Moderators/Commentators: Mahir Saul (University of Illinois), Ercan Balci (University of Illinois)

Reception to follow.

Organized by the European Union Center (EUC).
Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Studies (CGS); the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC); and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES).

Funded in part by an Institute of Turkish Studies grant.






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