In her article “Social Class and Family on Screen: Do Prime-time Television Series ‘Create’ Images of Family in Turkey?”, Uğur Zeynep Güven makes an ample amount of general statements to support her claim, and some of these may apply to many prime-time TV series in Turkey, but there are exceptions.

One such example is “Çocuklar Duymasın”, a TV series that first aired between 2002 and 2005, and then was returned in 2010. Although there is no direct translation in English for this expression, it is roughly “the children should not hear”. The reasoning behind the title will be explained later in this analysis.

Güven claims “All of our participants stated the lack of ‘middle-class lifestyle’ in soap operas”. The main family that the audience follows in “Çocuklar Duymasın” subverts this. The family is modern and middle-class. Güven also states that there is a stereotype of the “breadwinner husband – homemaker wife” relationship, which is not really true for Haluk and Meltem, since Meltem also works, in this TV series.

Another point that Güven makes is that on TV, males are shown to be dominant while females are displayed as submissive. In this TV show, there is a very specific example of the opposite. Gönül and Selami are also a married couple, and also good friends of the main family. However, their relationship is quite unlike what Güven claims. The wife, Gönül, is the one who tells her husband what to do and what not to do, always bossing him around. This is why Haluk usually calls her “dominant teyze” (dominant aunt), and Selami, her husband, “light erkek” (light man) as in diet foods and therefore weak.

However, most importantly in this case study, Güven states that the married couples on prime-time TV shows are depicted as happy and in love with each other. This could not be any more wrong for “Çocuklar Duymasın”, the basis of the story is that the main couple cannot get along at all, and are about to get a divorce but do not because of their children. Hence, the title of the show.

All in all, “Çocuklar Duymasın” almost completely subverts Uğur Zeynep Güven’s ideas. However, it should be noted that it was most probably not airing by the time Güven wrote and published her article, and thus may have been ignored as it would not have been current in that case.


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