After last week's discussion and run down of Dr. Acosta's trip to Turkey, I've been analyzing what exactly differentiates Turkish telenovelas to Spanish and Latin American based ones. From the direction to the videography to the acting and censorship, there are very obvious things that make them stand out from one another.
As far as direction goes, the story line for Turkish telenovelas seems a lot slower. When actors are running through streets in Fatmagul Sucu Ne, they show the entire time they are running rather than cutting scene by scene. When actors stare at one another in a tense scene, Turkish dramas take their time and show every detail of emotion in their faces. Everything seems slower and more calm and locally based. Each episodes seems to drag on a little longer and be a bit less packed with high drama every second of the show.
The videography and music are also different in comparison. Turkish telenovela soundtracks and background music definitely use more traditional Turkish instruments like the mandolin. The variety in songs is a lot smaller in Turkish dramas in comparison to Spanish dramas. Spanish soundtracks tend to have many more songs in them and a larger range in types of music. For example, in Fatmagul Sucu Ne, there's always one go to song for the romantic moments, one main song for the dramatic moments, and one song for the running scenes. I really have only heard about five different songs. On the other hand, Spanish telenovelas have songs with words in them that tend to become top hits in their native coutnries, and directors will use numerous songs for various emotions.
Censorship is a major difference between Spanish and Turkish telenovelas as well. Turkish dramas are not allowed by the government to show overly sexual scenes. In Fatmagul Sucu Ne, their wedding night scene shows her dress dropping to the floor, but the audience is just expected to fill in the blanks. However, in La Reina del Sur, the director leaves little to the imagination because programs know that ratings would be lower as censorship increases. Turkish dramas show phases of love through a lot of dialogue and small romantic gestures whereas Spanish telenovelas show increased love interest via sexual tension and physical touch.
Furthermore, I've seen that Turkey has a smaller pool of actors and actresses to choose from in comparison to all of Spain and Latin America. For example, Engin Akyurek is the lead male protagonist of both Fatmagul Sucu Ne and Kara Para Ask, two of Turkey's top telenovelas. Turkey has hyper famous actors that they tend to be put on a cycle and fans latch onto all of their love stories and really want these actors to be dating in real life. In contrast, Spanish telenovelas seem to use actors and actresses across different types of telenovelas as well, such as rosa or de epoca, but program stations definitely have a wider pool of talent to choose from and many more actors are at Engin Akyurek's level of fame in the Spanish world.