ROME – After opening a Turkish production outpost in January, Red Arrow Entertainment Group’s Karga Seven Pictures is preparing to shoot an English-language TV series in Turkey based on British author Jason Goodwin’s “The Janissary Tree” mysteries, which are set during the days of the Ottoman Empire.
Karga Seven has secured rights to the prize-winning four-book series, which features gumshoe Investigator Yashid, a eunuch, as the central character, in 1830s Istanbul.
“’Janissary Tree,’ now in development stage, will take place in Turkey but be English-language, which makes it a first of its kind,” said Karga Seven founding partner Emre Sahin (pictured, center, with other Karga Seven execs). The cast will be mixed international/Turkish “to make it truly global,” he added.
Sahin noted that shooting in Turkey will make production “considerably cheaper,” but still make for “great quality that will allow[s] us to export the show all over the world.”
Karga Seven Turkey has also landed a commission from Fox Turkey for a new scripted show toplining Erkan Petekkaya (“Broken Pieces”), who is among Turkey’s most bankable actors. Sahin said that Petekkaya would be playing “a tough guy who struggles to do good in a dark, gritty world….Of course there is a love story as well at the heart of the show.”
The still untitled show is scheduled to air on Fox Turkey in September. “Broken Pieces,” the hit show in which Petekkaya currently stars, has been sold by Global Agency to some 60 territories.
Los Angeles-based Karga Seven, which is known for hit series “Hunting Hitler” and “Booze Traveler,” is the first international production company to set up a Turkish outpost following the country’s attempted coup in July 2016 and the second to do so after Endemol launched Endemol Turkey in 2014 to tap into the Turkish TV boom.
“We are an L.A.-based company, but with a huge potential to have a leg up in the Turkish market,” said Sahin, who grew up in Turkey.
He added that he saw the country’s post-coup-attempt turbulence, which has seen the value of the Turkish lira suffer a double-digit drop against the U.S. dollar, as “an opportunity,” rather than a deterrent.