March 16, 2006

BROADCASTING: A cross-cultural soap makes its debut on German TV

A cross-cultural soap makes its debut on German TV
'Turkish for Beginners,' a new soap opera which premiered on German
public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday, is a highly entertaining bonanza of
cultural stereotypes. In it, Doris Schneider, an anti-disciplinarian
German therapist and mother of two, falls in love with Turkish policeman
Metin Öztürk, a father of two as well. To the absolute horror of the
children from both sides of the cultural divide, Doris and Metin decide
to move in with each other and conduct a risky, cross-cultural family merger.

'Turkish for Beginners' is an exceptional show on German television.
There is not a touch of political correctness in it, but it freshens up
the usually rather stale TV portraits of foreigners in Germany. 'I find
it highly critical that Turks always only work in kebab joints (on
television),' said Michael Mangold, who leads the Institute for Media
and Economics at the Karlsruhe Centre for Art and Media Technology.

'Integration is the central goal of the current social policy,' Mangold
said. But you would not be able to guess that by watching German
television. According to the Nuremberg Society for Consumer Research,
German TV channels are not particularly interested in targeting their
programmes for the Turkish audience since Turks in Germany spend half of
their television time watching Turkish channels via satellite dishes.
'That is probably because they do not feel they are being addressed by
German television,' Mangold said.

Source:,2144,1933963,00.html - Deutsche Welle
Chris Schuepp
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