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Turkey to Adapt Israeli TV Series ‘Shtisel’ Highlighting Orthodox Muslim Community

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avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

From left: Kive (Michael Aloni), Shulem (Dovale Glickman) and Nuchem (Sasson Gabay) in a scene from season 3 of “Shtisel.” Photo: Courtesy of yes Studios

The Turkish production company OGM Pictures has acquired rights to remake the Israeli television drama Shtisel for Turkish audiences, with a storyline focused on the country’s ultra-orthodox Muslim community.

Dori Media Group, which handles international licensing for Shtisel, made the announcement on Monday about the Turkish adaptation, which will be called Ömer. It will star Selahattin Pasali and Gökçe Bahadir, and will premiere on Star TV in Turkey. OGM plans to produce at least 20 episodes for the first season of the Turkish show.

Shtisel is a very unique format that can be adapted to almost every culture and religion,” said OGM Pictures Founder Onur Guvenatam. “So we are very excited to present Ömer in harmony with our culture and traditions. We believe our audience will also enjoy watching these cultural and religious practices and their effects on our characters and relationships that are so familiar to us.”

The hit Israeli television drama, which aired on the Yes network in Israel and also streams on Netflix in the US and around the world, is about the ultra-orthodox Jewish Shtisel family living in Jerusalem with a focus on bachelor and struggling artist Akiva Shtisel, played by Israeli actor Michael Aloni. The show also stars Shira Haas, Ayelet Zurer, Neta Riskin and Dov Glickman.

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“For such an excellent Turkish production company to choose a format like this just goes to show how audiences from all backgrounds, be they Muslim or Jewish, or anyone else for that matter, can relate to the same family values and often fraught dynamics, significance of tradition, ceremony of food, etc., portrayed in Shitsel,” said Dori Media Group President and CEO Nadav Palti.

The first season of Shtisel was the second most viewed Israeli drama on Yes and the show won 11 trophiies at the Israeli TV Awards in 2013, including best drama series, best actor and best script. Season two won six awards and the third season aired in 2021.

Dikla Barkai, the producer of Shtisel and head of drama at Abot Hameiri, the Israeli production company for Israel’s Yes network, said, “From the little we have seen so far, the trailer only, it was possible to distinguish quite a few similar elements” between the Israeli series and Ömer.

Barkai added, “It is amazing that an Israeli series that tells a story about an ultra-Orthodox family in the ultra-orthodox world of ‘Mea Shearim’ in Jerusalem, looks so similar even when it is adapted into a drama series about Muslims in Turkey. It only emphasizes the strong human element in the series, which ultimately transcends religion and social affiliation. Eventually, we are all the same.”

Shtisel has also been sold to France and Sweden, according to the Dori Media Group.

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