Engin Altan at AMF 3-1695741456810
Düzyatan during a 'Conversation with Engin Altan' session at Arab Media Forum 2023 in Dubai on Tuesday Image Credit: Ahmad Alotbi/Gulf News

Dubai:Fans of Engin Altan Duzyatan - famous for his role as Ertugrul Bey in the hit Turkish TV series ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’ - could soon see him in a Dubai production.

The iconic Turkish actor revealed that there are ongoing talks in this regard. He was speaking at the 21st Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai on Tuesday.

Globally acclaimed for playing Ertugrul Bey - the father of Osman, who founded the Ottoman Empire - Düzyatan was the star attraction on the inaugural day of AMF, the region’s largest gathering for media professionals.

Thronged by fans from the Arab region before and after his session, Düzyatan disclosed the news to them about his potential appearance in a Dubai production, during a session titled ‘In Conversation with Engin Altan’ at the forum.

“Right now, we are talking about joint productions with Dubai and the Republic of Turkey and also Latin American countries,” he said while discussing how Turkey is now capitalising on making joint productions with other countries where its movies and series have become immensely popular.

In exclusive comments to Gulf News on the sidelines of the forum, Düzyatan later elaborated on the joint productions.

“I believe that the advances in the industry have paved the way towards potential joint projects and productions. When you look at the rates of TV series exported from Turkey and elsewhere in the world, you will understand that countries that buy these TV series from Turkey now understand that they could actually become partners in new joint projects with Turkey.

"Therefore, right now we are talking about the potential or the possibility of running these projects with other countries. This new idea is very exciting… And right now we are talking about potential projects with different countries, including Dubai.”

The actor enjoyed wide publicity officially given to him and his family during their vacation in Dubai in June. However, on Tuesday, he said he was not in a position yet to divulge concrete details about the joint collaborations.

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Bridging gaps

Yet, for him, these collaborations mean more opportunities to bridge gaps between communities and countries.

He spoke about the need to use the soft power of the entertainment industry “to establish peace and increase communication between communities and countries”.

He said the soft power through the entertainment industry created “an invisible link” that helps countries bond.

“We are in a leading position in that I think. After the US, Turkey is the second largest TV series exporter [to other countries and languages],” he said in the session.

Düzyatan’s hit Turkish drama was broadcast in more than 70 countries, dubbed in various languages and watched by around 3 billion people.

Speaking to Gulf News, he said Western countries like the US had realised the potential of TV series as a soft power long back and the Eastern societies are slowly waking up to this realisation. “I think we now understand that this soft power can create bridges among different cultures.”

He said the series Ertuğrul has helped strike a chord with Muslim communities across the world as it showcased the essence of what the religion stands for. He said it also helped correct the perceptions about the religion among many global viewers.

Embracing AI

The actor who has millions of followers on social media also called for the need to embrace technological advancements in the creative field. Technological advances, including AI-driven writing, will significantly impact the creative field, especially authors and writers. Adapting to this new reality is crucial, particularly for the younger generation, he said.

In a message to the young generation, he said they should embrace innovative approaches to storytelling, fostering connections among diverse societies and cultures with a human-centred perspective.

Asked about his preferences in choosing his future roles, he said he understands the need to strike a balance between historical and non-historical roles though he personally loves roles in period dramas that tell rich stories from the past.

He also spoke about his passion for carrying out philanthropic activities and protecting family bonds.

On his social and philanthropic work, he said: “I have a deep passion for humanitarian work, and I always seek opportunities to contribute. Access to clean water remains a significant challenge for impoverished societies around the world. I have been involved in meaningful projects addressing this critical issue. Climate change is a pressing concern as well. The reality is that our planet is warming, and water is becoming increasingly scarce. It's imperative that we use water resources efficiently.”

“I'm aware that Dubai has taken substantial steps in this direction, and I have closely followed Dubai's efforts, along with those of other nations. When countries prioritise these issues, it raises awareness and inspires positive change,” he added.