Television shows to promote Turkish-Greek friendship

Turkey and Greece are to collaborate on two new TV shows aimed at encouraging relations between the two countries.

Two television programs backed by Turkey and Greece’s culture ministries are on their way. One them is titled “Muhteşem Yolculuk” (The Amazing Journey) and will be a 13-episode documentary shot along the Aegean coast. Filming will begin in İstanbul and will end in Athens. The name of the other TV show has yet to be decided.

The idea behind “The Amazing Journey” occurred to Maria Ekmekçioğlu, a gourmet chef, after she met Erdal Murat Aktaş, the director of the Egyptian-Turkish movie “Mumya Firarda” (Mummy on the Run), and “Kirpi” (The Hedgehog). Aktaş, who has been considering an internationally made production for some time remembers:

“I was thinking of a country to choose for my project. At this time, I met a gourmet cook named Maria Ekmekçioğlu at a restaurant in Alaçatı. She lives in Turkey. We later made an episode for another project of mine in İstanbul, Çeşme and Sakız Island. She knows the cultures of both Turkey and Greece very well. I told her about my project, and she agreed to work with me. She will be a co-producer and consultant in my project.”

“The Amazing Journey” will most likely be broadcast on the Turkish state channel TRT. Aktaş, who will be directing the series, said: “We will set off from İstanbul and then sail along the Aegean coast, and then visit the Greek islands. We will film our cultures, history, music and food, which will give us the opportunity to compare the two cultures. We can also call this project a journey on the Aegean.” A Greek television channel will also broadcast the series at the same time as TRT. Aktaş also said there were plans to air the show in Europe and Middle East as well.

Turkish-Greek friendship anecdotes from celebrities

The cameras will start rolling on Sept. 10 for “The Amazing Journey.” Aktaş says both Greek and Turkish celebrities will be featured in the show, telling their stories of Greek and Turkish friendship. The crew will travel to eight or nine Turkish cities first before going to Greece.

“We will emphasize the common values and wonders of the two countries. There will be four celebrities on the show, who will host some of the episodes. We also hope to have special guests from different areas of the music world, literature or cinema. We will host singers such as Sertap Erener and Sezen Aksu. There is also huge interest being shown in [the actress] Türkan Şoray. Because of the recently aired Turkish series in Greece, there is also a great being interest shown toward the actors of the series Ezel and Gümüş [Silver]. We really want to have these actors on the program, but I can’t say how many of them will be available.”

Greek-Turkish collaboration is common in the arts, with singers and producers often working together on projects. Both nations often like the TV shows produced by the other country. One such example is the Turkish series, “Yabancı Damat” (The Foreign Groom), depicting a love story between Nazlı and her Greek boyfriend Niko.(ZAMAN)