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EXXEN: New Turkish Programming with English Subtitles?

North American Turkish dizi fans are always looking for a place where they can reliably access their favorite shows.  Netflix started the trend four years ago and Amazon has followed suit.  But as most of us have discovered, it’s slim pickings on both of these mega streaming platforms.  So our ears perked up when we heard that Acun Ilıcalı the owner of Turkish TV channels TV8 and TV8.5, as well as several production companies in various countries, wanted to start up a digital streaming platform.  The Turkish media mogul plans to spend approximately $114 million per year on this project that has been labeled as a local competitor of the U.S. giant Netflix.

What do we know about this digital platform?  Well, it’s called EXXEN and it will have new Turkish series, movies, musicals, documentaries and varieties which will be available for American audiences as well. The subscription fee starts at 9,90 Turkish Liras per month which amounts to $1.34 per month with today’s exchange rate. The platform will be launched on January 1, 2021 via the internet as well as a mobile app. 

You can get a feel for the types of shows they will be streaming on their Facebook page but here are a few:  Hukumsuz, which will tackle violence against women; Ogrenci Evi, a youth drama; Seref Bey a 10 episode comedy series; Vahsi Seyler, an 8 episode miniseries; and Yavuz, which will recount the story of Yavuz Sultan Selim.

We’re still checking to see whether some of the older dizis will also be available on this site or perhaps another site, but as of yet we do not have clarification.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear to Turkish production companies that North Americans are interested in their programming. Recently, the Turkish government created a site New Turkish Films also supported by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, among other organizations, to promote Turkish films internationally in English.

Focusing on new and contemporary works from established and up-and-coming directors and producers, the site lists Turkish cinematic works chronologically in English with a synopsis as well as information on the cast and related media.  Currently, only the trailers for the movies are available on the site for promotional purposes.

BluTV, a Turkish streaming service has been online since 2015, and in recent years started introducing original programming that come up with English subtitles. Alef, which recently made the Top 15 international shows in a list by Variety, was one of the first originals that came equipped with English subtitles. Even though they have a large library of series, movies and more, older licensed shows remain in Turkish. The platform is currently running a special until January 4, 2021, offering the same monthly rate as EXXEN.

Slowly but surely, the world is waking up to Turkish entertainment and it’s a good thing too.


Watch the trailer for Seref Bey starring Haluk Bilginer with closed captions.

And the trailer for Hukumsuz starring Burcin Terzioglu from The Protector with closed captions.

(To watch in English, click on “CC” and then click on the cogwheel icon and choose auto-translate English)

The EXXEN website will go live on January 1st, but you can get information on their IG page as well.

(c) Copyright by North America TEN

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