"Everybody Should Witness Our Happiness": Matrimonial Shows on Turkish Television Channels

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Beykent Üniversitesi

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In every culture and society, rituals of marriage are changing depending on different traditions and customs. Modernization and the developments in the mass media, naturally changed or at least made these customs and traditions compatible with the changing situation. In Turkish culture, the first step of the arranged (family initiated) marriages - asking a family to give their daughters as a bride (kız isteme)- is more invisible and "between the members of the two families" (aile arasında). Kız isteme ritual is also an important phase in the love marriages. Approbation of family and the society is important not only in arranged marriages, but also in love marriages. Although, the ceremony is mostly invisible and between the members of the families of the bride and the groom, it became an important "subject of rumor" especially among women. Neighbors of the bride and the groom and relatives always eager to learn the details about the groom and bride, as well as about the ceremony itself. Today, matrimonial shows on Turkish televisions arose from this curiosity and turning it into cash. At those matrimonial shows such as Esra Erol'da Evlen Benimle (Marry me at Esra Erol Show), Su Gibi (Pure as Water) and Ne Çıkarsa Bahtına (By Chance), candidates give information about themselves, express their criteria about marriage and trying to find their spouses in public, on television. If they get along with each other, their wedding ceremony also holds live on TV screens. As Andy Warhol predicted, every couple became famous at least for 15 minutes at those shows whether they got married or not. In this research, we will try to explain how the customs and traditions did become compatible with mass media and how mass media and its rules did changed those customs and traditions. We will use discourse analysis method in order to explain the subject.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Matrimonial shows, Fame, Marriage, Television programs in Turkey


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BUJSS 9/1 (2016), 102-117