Thursday, March 21, 2013

Turkish Soap Operas, Real Sets behind them, and Dereotlu Pogaca (Turkish Biscuit)

It is Wednesday! I am rushing my kids to complete their homework, I am loading dishwasher with few plates in rush, completing everything I had to do, check my Facebook page, Gmail, and Twitter-everything before eight o'clock. It's my night of Turkish Soap Opera.I am a big fan of "Kuzey and Guney", it airs at 8 PM every Wednesday on Kanal D in Turkey.
Turkish soap operas are real big deal for Turkey, and for Middle East, and for many Balkan countries where viewers wait by the TV for their favorite story to be continued. The competition among channels is gigantic! Channels compete by measuring the ratings during the prime-time airing. Time between 8PM and 10PM, are the most valuable hours for the TV companies. Every channel has its own dizi ( TV series in turkish), which is trying to beat the rating and gain more profits from Advertising company.This is the most talked business in whole country. Dizi is powerful tool to turn an unknown foreign actor/or actress into a king or queen of media in Turkey. Like Meryem Uzerli, who is more known as Hurrem from "Muhtesem Yuzyil" series. She was invited from Germany to play a famous wife of sultan Suleyman. She is one of the most beloved actresses in modern Turkey now. The Muhtesem Yuzyil/or Magnificent Century is most profitable and at the same time most expensive TV Series in country. It also airs on Wednesday, but I am not watching it, since Hurrem's role meant to be mine, and now by not giving its producer one extra rating, I am protesting it. :)
To make one episode, hundreds of people work full-time for 7 days a week. And by full-time, I mean 24 hours a day. One episode lasts for one and half hour, instead world standard -45 minutes. It takes a lot of juice from the crew to film a full movie-lenght episode in 6 days every week. Actors don't know their words until last moment,since the script writers are finishing their dialogues right in front of them on the sets. We met a director, who is filming famous TV series which lasts couple seasons, and she didn't see how her baby grew all this time. It's a really tough and crucial business. Viewers sometimes relate to the characters too much, and relate everything that happens on the screen as it was a real life. I will be honest if I will tell the fact about myself. My husband met Bugra Gulsoy (Guney from Kuzey Guney series), and I have been begging my husband to introduce me with him. In yesterday's episode, Guney turned into a negative character, and I told my husband, that I changed my mind, and didn't want to meet such a evil person anymore. Sounds funny, I know. The young and beautiful actress from "Eve Dusen Yildirim" was playing a character who was destroying family. The girl was attacked by people on the street for that. She had an extremely hard time walking and living a regular life without being insulted by women, who felt sorry for the left alone wife in the series.
Existence of Tweeter and Facebook, also plays a big role in scandalous situations with actors. For example, during the "Adini Feriha Koydum" series, there were two groups of fans, that attacked the producers of the TV series in the cyber space in order for them to change the story line.
Last week, I had a chance to visit a set of upcoming TV series "Otisabi", which is based on the Comic series, by Yilmaz Aslanturk. The series are going to be broadcasted on CinemaTV. It's a first-time experience for Private channel, that is doing an exclusive production of its own TV series in Turkey. Think of HBO special series. The director of the OTISABI is fantastic man, who has years of experience,who is trying to bring the level of the local production upto the Hollywood standards. The TV series is promising to be extremely entertaining, and very sexy. The set left an impression on me, which broke my dream of wanting to become and actress one day. It was a first time for me to see all the cameras, lights, people behind the camera, and one actor who has got all one hundred eyes on him. I felt like I didn't want to be in his shoes at that moment. This is so scary!!!Guys, I am telling you, it's not easy at all. Everyone expects you to show that perfect emotion, that one special move of the finger, or a sparkle in your eyes. The actor did fantastic job! He is hilarious, he is sexy, he is tough,simply the real OTISABI, that I used to imagine reading the comics. The Facebook page of Otisabi is already full of criticism, praising, opinions, reviews, even before anybody has seen any episode.

Criticism of famous "Muhtesem Yuzyil"went even further to the Premier Minister of Turkey. In his public speech, he told his opinion, that the TV series was not reflecting the real facts or was historically incorrect. The producers had to do certain changes in following episodes because of that.
My post got too long :) From the set of Otisabi, I am bringing you the recipe of usual snack. It's a POGACA (poacha). There are diffrent kinds of Pogacas in Turkey, some of them are yeasty and look like buns, some are simple and taste crumbly like scone or biscuit. I chose a simple and quick version of dereotlu pogaca (Biscuits with dill), which can be perfect for your potluck, or appetizer table, as a bread substitute for the fancy dinner.
The recipe is adapted from MutfakSirlari.

Dereotlu Pogaca -Bisuits with dill and Feta cheese.

3 1/2 c of all-purpose flour
1 t.salt
1 t. sugar
1/4 cup of chopped and washed fresh dill
1 T baking powder
125 gr. of cold butter
1/2 c vegetable oil
3/4 c yogurt ( or sour-cream)
1 egg divided into e.g. white and yolk.
100 gr Feta Cheese -Optional

Mix the dry ingredients+dill, cut the butter into the flour mixture. You better use the pastry knife, or your hands to turn the butter and flour into crumbs.

Separately mix the liquid ingredients Yogurt+Egg White+Oil. Add them to Flour. Use your hands to knead the dough. We don't need to reach smooth texture, leave a little bit crumbly. Heat the oven 350F (185C). Use parchment paper on baking pan. Roll the doing in your palms into a golf size (or walnut)ball. Make a closed hole, and insert the piece of Feta cheese, close the hole.

You can close totally and roll it into ball, or leave it in kind of half-open shell shape. Brush egg yolk on top. Bake 25-30 minutes until dark golden color.

1 comment:

Nurlana Su said...

Love reading you posts, this one was awesome,
I hope we would be able to watch "OTISABI" online too