Posted by: Andy | October 1, 2009

Turkish TV

For the only time in my life other than living in a college dormitory, I have cable. Most unfortunately I have less channels currently that I can understand that I did in the States without cable. It’s hard to say how many English speaking channels we actually have since there are a few that are both English and Turkish, but there are only 4 stations that are always in English.

The first is a version of CNN that I believe to be British produced, the second is a BBC news station which is quite obviously British, the third is BBC Prime which plays a variety of British soap operas and sit-coms. The only show I’ve actually recognized is the game show The Weakest Link which is apparently still going strong in the UK. The final one is the strangest of all; it is a basketball channel that plays classic NBA and WNBA games, highlights and documentaries. I spent a solid chunk of our time off this past week watching Michael Jordan scoring 50 points or more in various games throughout the late 1980s.

Some of the part English – part Turkish channels include CNBCE which will play some solid shows in English from time to time including The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, Two and-a-Half Men, Desperate Housewives and The Closer. I think there are some CSI shows as well as some Law and Order shows, but I haven’t seen any on as of yet.

There is also a version of TNT here which very often has American movies on, but they are typically overdubbed in Turkish, which isn’t much fun. There are times when this station in particular will switch from English to Turkish without any warning. One of the first nights we were here, we were sitting happily watching the first Harry Potter movie in English when all of a sudden the screen went black and when it returned seconds later, the movie was now in Turkish. The exact same thing happened about a week later with a Judy Dench movie called Mrs. Brown in which she plays the Queen of England.

The other partial English channels that we get are all music channels which play a combination of Turkish, British and American music videos.

So all in all, I’d say we have 5 channels of English on our television. Some of our friends have quite a few more including a Fox Sports station which plays one live NFL game every week at 8pm (which would be the noon game central time). Last week they were on vacation in Germany, so we were house-sitting and I got to watch New Orleans trounce Philadelphia which was quite nice.



  1. I’m amazed you have so many English Channels and one of them isn’t a dedicated Law and Order Channel. I thought that came standard on all TVs.

  2. Indeed, I think I’ve only actually seen one advertisement for a Law and Order show and I’ve never actually seen it playing. It seems CNCBE has many similar shows though from Cold Case, Without a Trace, The Closer and a variety of CSI shows.

  3. So do you guys also get Internet through your cable provider there? And is it fast? hehe 🙂

    Oh and what about banned sites. Missing YouTube yet? LOL.

    • I DO miss YouTube. And the internet doesn’t seem to multi-task as well as I would like it. 🙂

      • you can change your dns or use youtubejacker for youtube 🙂

  4. Dylan – At the current moment we do not have Internet. We’ve been using our friends’ apartments on a regular basis for such needs. The Internet we have experienced has been decent, both ethernet and wireless. Some sites with video are ridiculously slow, for me that mainly means ESPN. And yes, we do miss YouTube. There are ways around the ban, but we haven’t figured them out quite yet.

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