Turkey Direct – A new season of programmes from BBC World News focuses on Turkey in 2012

Date: 11.10.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.14
Category: BBC World News
Turkey is in the spotlight for late October, as BBC World News broadcasts a special series of documentaries and news programmes to uncover its economic, historical and cultural roots.

As the AK party reaches its 10th year in power, BBC World News turns to this Eurasian country to explore the lives of its local people and what makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Turkey Direct broadcasts globally on the BBC’s 24-hour news channel, BBC World News, from 26th October. Special multimedia content will also be available on bbc.com/turkeydirect.

Programme highlights from Turkey Direct include:

Working Lives: Gaziantep

27th October 09.30, 12.30
28th October 02.30, 15.30

The city of Gaziantep in Eastern Turkey is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, famous for its regional specialities including copperware products, ‘Yemeni’ sandals and green olive oil. Today it is one of the engines of Turkey’s economic growth, located at the cross point of two great trade routes between east and west. Recent conflict in Syria has blocked one of the major arteries of Turkey’s trade with the Arab world, but as presenter Leo Johnson discovers, the people of Gaziantep continue their normal lives amid uncertainty.

In Working Lives, Johnson meets six of the city’s residents including a female CEO who started her own textile company as a new mother; Gaziantep’s finest baklava baker, whose honey-soaked pastry studded with crushed pistachio nuts has gained popular acclaim; and a seventh generation butcher with a side-line of writing poetry, who has already published 14 collections of verse so far. We also meet one of only two traditional skewer-makers still working in the city; an English teacher who settled in Turkey after leaving Afghanistan at the age of eight; and an owner of a successful estate agency whose business is thriving following the influx of Syrian refugees into the country.


27th October 03.30, 13.30, 18.30
28th October 06.30

BBC World News’ travel strand Fast Track is in Istanbul to explore Turkey’s thriving media scene; Antalya, to visit a resort dedicated to the needs of Muslims only; and Antakya, to discover how its location near the Syrian border is impacting tourism today.

Istanbul – Turkey’s economic, cultural and historical heart – is one of the largest cities in the world. Famously straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, the city is famous for its Byzantine splendour, hamams and bustling bazaars, but it is also the hub of Turkish media. Fast:Track presenter Rajan Datar explores the popularity of Turkish soap operas, famed for luring viewers with scandalous storylines. He goes behind the scenes of a Turkish version of the American television series Desperate Housewives, which emulates a fictional suburban town and follows the lives of a group of women. Rajan is also on the set of a fashion shoot for Ala magazine, Turkey’s first fashion magazine to focus on modest Muslim styles and trends.

Fast:Track will also travel to Antakya in the Hatay province in Southern Turkey. Located along the Syrian border, it was once a popular weekend destination for Syrians coming across to take advantage of its rich architectural heritage, panoramic views and renowned cuisine. It is now a city affected by the Syrian civil war. We meet one restaurateur whose business is down 50 per cent, and a hotelier who is prospering with war journalists replacing tourists in his hotel.

Turkey is the second most popular destination for Halal tourism, and the team visit Antalya, to learn how one resort is catering to the rise in popularity of holidays that abide by strict Islamic law.

One Square Mile: Istanbul

27th October 04.30, 17.30, 22.30
28th October 10.30

In One Square Mile, presenter Jonathan Head is in Istanbul to journey across Turkey’s Golden Horn: a horn-shaped inlet of the Bosphorus that divides the city. Forming the natural harbour where Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman ships used to lay, the Golden Horn was once an old trading port and a popular residential area that became a victim of industrial landscape and waste. It has since gone through regeneration and is now surrounded by parks, promenades and ancient sites encompassing a variety of lifestyles, activities and cultures. Jonathan explores the hidden delights of the neighbourhood, from the grand mosques of the Ottoman era to English churches, from the old European district of Pera to the jazz clubs, to banks-turned-art-centres in one of the liveliest hubs in Istanbul.

Weekend World: Turkey

26th October 16.40, 18.40
27th October 00.10, 07.10, 12.10

This special edition of Weekend World is in Istanbul, where Fiona Foster will take a lively look at viewers’ comments on BBC World News programmes and a brief snapshot of what’s coming up on the weekend. Fiona speaks to James Reynolds on life as a foreign correspondent and what it has been like to cover the on-going crisis just over the border, in Syria.

For more information contact Shammi Anand: shammi.anand@bbc.co.uk