Turkish actor hopes to boost positive relations

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Turkish actor hopes to boost positive relations


Enes Kaya

Turkish actor Enes Kaya, 30, has positioned himself as one of the more memorable panelists on the up-and-coming JTBC entertainment program “Bijeongsang Hoedam,” which roughly translates as “Non Summit.”

Among the 11 foreigners, who all speak Korean, featured on the program discussing issues from an outsider’s perspective, he is considered the most conservative, sometimes even more so than the show’s hosts, Jeon Hyun-moo, Yoo Se-yun and Sung Si-kyung.

The program has tried to diverge from the many existing reality series by tackling somewhat divisive matters, such as unmarried couples living together. “You get shot when you cohabitate in Turkey,” Kaya once said during one episode, a remark that made waves among viewers.

“I try to be careful when talking, but I am straightforward with my opinions,” he said in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo on Tuesday. “My comment on cohabitation became the talk of the town, but I didn’t mean anything bad by it.”

The actor somewhat serendipitously entered into the entertainment industry here. Over the past few years, Kaya has appeared in both film and television, even taking on a role in the 2010 movie “Psychic.” But he first came to Korea, he said, on the advice of his father.

“The only concern I had that time was that I did not speak Korean at all,” Kaya said. “I meant to go back after graduating from university, but I’ve already been here 12 years.”

As the most famous Turkish man on Korean TV, he added that he tries project a responsible image.

“Most people in Turkey are Muslims. They do not drink alcohol or eat pork, just like me. But at the same time, Turkey is one of the most liberal countries among Islamic nations, not a country that prioritizes the religion over everything else,” he said. “People will judge Turkey through me, so I want to project a positive image.”

BY WI MOON-HEE [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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