About This Episode

Turkish soap operas are incredibly popular -- and not just in Turkey. Throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and Asia, millions of viewers are glued to their screens, watching every single episode of shows like "Noor," "Fatmagul," "Suleiman" and "Life Goes On."

Kismet examines the paradox behind the soaps: although the stories break the social taboos that are meant to restrict women, many devout Christians and Muslims are fans. According to women in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Athens, Mostar, Sofia and Istanbul, these soap stories have transformed lives. One woman was emboldened to leave the husband she was forced to marry, and another, a victim of rape, watches intently as a TV character seeks justice for a sexual assault. The programs, scripted by women, inspire their female devotees to fight for the freedoms they witness on the screen.