by Burak Akinci
ANKARA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — With the steady improvement of bilateral ties, there has been an expanding audience for Chinese films and dramas in Turkey.
Ergin Seven, a university student from the capital Ankara, says he likes to watch Chinese dramas through the online streaming sites.
"In the past, it was difficult to find Chinese productions online, but since a couple of years ago, they are on most streaming sites, both paid and free ones, and there are plenty to choose from," he told Xinhua.
Seven said he is attracted to the Chinese and Asian cultures in general and takes online Chinese classes "in order to be able to understand the movies without English subtitles."
The student said that through the films and dramas, his knowledge about Chinese culture has been expanded.
"I especially like fantasy and sci-fi movies made by China where this industry is thriving. My girlfriend often watches the movies with me," he added.
Some Turkish news outlets and cinema magazines regularly publish interviews with specialists of the industry about the Chinese movie and drama and offer advice on which productions to watch.
Chinese films are also presented to viewers in Turkey through international festivals in several cities, including the Istanbul Film Festival, Turkey's most prestigious one organized in the cultural hub.
"There is indeed a growing interest in Chinese TV programs, dramas and films, especially among the youth who turn to the Internet mostly to watch them online," Mustafa Karsli, head of the Chinese cultural association in Istanbul, told Xinhua.
"Video platforms such as Youku have become quite popular within the younger Turkish generation," Karsli said.
"China has become a strong player on the international stage of the film industry," Karsli stressed.
He explained that this interest towards Asia and particularly China in Turkey is the result of the flourishing of bilateral ties in recent years.
"Each year more and more university students want to continue their education in China, so they want to acclimate themselves to this culture by following the Chinese movie and drama scene," he added.
Muberra Batuhan, a Chinese language teacher based in Ankara, said that she recommends her students to follow Chinese programs on TV or online platforms.
"Subtitled films or programs made in China are an excellent tool to learn the language, and my students also get to understand the way of living of the Chinese people," she told Xinhua.
"Some of my students who are in high school follow these programs regularly and we discuss them in the classroom," she added, mentioning a romantic comedy TV series "A love so beautiful."
Mynet, one of Turkey's leading Internet platforms, praised Chinese TV series, noting that "once you start to watch them, you get hooked to those good productions."
"Chinese series are the gateway to Chinese culture. At first, getting acquainted to the language may prove difficult, but with time, Chinese dramas get you hooked on this diverse culture," the platform said on its website.