Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kivanc Tatlitug

From a Liz Smith column last year sometime:

But in Turkey, it is one Kivanc Tatlitug who has captured the hearts of females across the Arab world, and particularly in his native Istanbul and everyplace else in Turkey where they can get a TV signal. And Kivanc is not yet a movie star. He is a creation of the soap opera world. Still, he is the rage from Dubai to Saudi Arabia.

The blonde, blue-eyed Turk, whose name is pronounced Kee-vanch Tat-loo-too, started out as a model. He is not married and plays a "good" guy on his show, "Noor." But still his performance has created a tsunami of scandal in Turkey. For years, Turkish women doted on soap operas made elsewhere in the Middle East. They didn’t mind watching them and going "Tch, tch!" at the loose morals. But when their own country produced one, everybody was "shocked, shocked," and Turkish women began complaining to their husbands that they weren’t as understanding, sympathetic and adorable as Kivanc. This has led to a few cases of separation and divorce and some mighty odd behavior by Turkish women.

The good news? Mr. Tatlitug affected tourism all across the Middle East last summer and especially in burgeoning Istanbul. The background of his soap opera, whatever its moral content, shows off the beauty of modern and ancient Istanbul. It runs once a week and everybody waits for it.

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