The Jewish Businessman Wielding Turkey’s Soft Power on the World's TV Screens

The life story of Izzet Pinto, the man who turned Turkish telenovelas into a global empire, could compete with any of the shows he sells

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Izzet Pinto. His birth name was Israel Pinto, but as has been the Jewish custom for generations in various diasporas, his parents also gave him a non-Jewish name, Izzet.
Izzet Pinto. His birth name was Israel Pinto, but as has been the Jewish custom for generations in various diasporas, his parents also gave him a non-Jewish name.Credit: cem kiralim
Headshot of Haaretz columnist and literary supplement editor Benny Ziffer, who is artistic director of the poetry festival to be held in Metula.
Benny Ziffer
A scene from Turkish TV drama 'Muhteşem Yüzyıl' ('The Magnificent Century').Credit: TIMS Productions
The long promenade along the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul. The documentary 'A Dream of Istanbul,' about Turkish architect Aaron Engel is yet another Jewish story that hasn’t been told.Credit: Yavuz Sariyildiz / Shutterstock.

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