The First Great Turkish Soap Opera:The Ivy Mansion

Turkish television drama is a big industry which started booming at the beginning of 21th century. Turkish films scenarios are usually develops around drama or romance. But soup opera tradition came to Turkey in the 1980s with Dallas, Dynasty and The Young and the Restless. These serials are soup operas which is a genre that focuses on emotional relationships, melodrama and usually uses class conflicts and family distress to create the suitable context. We can consider The Ivy Mansion as the first Turkish soap opera which influenced a great amount of people in any social class and turned over a new leaf in the Turkish television tradition. Also The Ivy Mansion is important because it contains all the ingredients of a impressive soup-opera. It is aired between 2002-2004 and they even made a film as a continuation of the serial. In the story a sophisticated painter marries a man who is landlord in the eastern Anatolia and lives with his extended family in a mansion. She faces with old Turkish traditions, blood feuls and women who compete for social power. She also finds out his husband legitimate son who is from one of the maids in the house. This serial affected all people because these were all kinds of people from all social classes and it was really trying to picture the classes in all dimensions. Actually I think Turkish television series are reflecting the Turkish culture in some ways. For example in Turkey these is a cliff between social classes in this case the landlord and his servants. I am even saying servants not employees because that how people pronounce and act towards that working group. But soup operas usually creates conflicts to show us how extreme the tension can gets. In real life an artist usually not prefers to marry with a landlord who lives in an old mansion  with his legitimate son who was born as a result of a rape. In eastern Anatolia these things gets covered up somehow. By presenting us the extreme points of the classes they picture the social environment all made up with contradictory cases. They are doing experiments, create fantasies and try to picture the results of the ”what if ?” questions. While doing that they miss to represent the general look and the real pattern of the society which we face in everyday life. Anyway people still watched it because we simply get bored of our everyday lives and want to see the alternative, to see a some kind of fantasy which connected to reality partially. We disregrd the social message( or we think we do) and assume that the influence of it will go off quickly as a soap’s foam

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