Most of the plays written in the Republic period had a social-realistic or critical tendency, though many comedies and farcical plays as well as some surrealistic plays were also produced. The playwrights of the early Republic period mostly produced plays which dealt with the difficulties of the transition period from Ottoman society to the modern Turkish society. They put forth the social problems in a more critical, comprehensive and strong manner in time. However, a generation of effective and dynamic playwrights emerged after 1960.

The playwrights managed to produce plays in the contemporary sense during this period. Some plays, which benefited from the peculiarities of the traditional entertaining plays, grant- ed a national personality to the Turkish theater. In fact, Haldun Taner, who contributed significantly in efforts to bring a national identity to playwriting in Turkey concern- ing the content and the style, is the creator of political cabaret which often has a critical tendency and in which all elements of traditional Turkish theater are evaluated, and the domestic epic musical with his Kesanli Ali Destani (The Legend of Kesanli Ali), which was first staged in 1964. In the same period, the playwrights such as Gungor Dilmen, Orhan Asena, Turan Oflazoglu and Necati Cumali produced poetic plays which took their themes from Ottoman history, public heroes and mythology. At the end of the period, playwrights also started to produce political plays.

Playwriting, which experienced a stagnation period both in terms of quality and quantity in 1980s, was revived by the more dynamic cultural policy of governments in recent years. Meanwhile, the number of Turkish plays which were translated into foreign languages and staged abroad increased considerably. Resimli Osmanli Tarihi (A pictorial History of the Ottomans) by Turgut Ozakman, Misafir (The Guest) by Bilgesu Erenus; Agri Dagi Efsanesi (The Legend of Mount Ararat) by Macit Koper; the Kaldirim Sercesi (The Sidewalk Sparrow), a musical play Basar Sabuncu adapted from the original musical, the scenario of which was based on the life of Edith Piaf; Afife Jale by Nezihe Araz, which tells the heroic and tragic story of a young Turkish girl who loved the theater and who insisted on appearing on the stage in defiance of the law and the moralistic Moslem injunction which prohibited stage arts for women during the Ottoman period; Bir Garip Orhan Veli by Murathan Mungan which was based on the life of the renowned poet of the 1940s, Orhan Veli Kanik and which made liberal use of his simple and slang-spangled, but incisive and memorable verses; and Ferhan Sensoy's Ferhangi Seyler (Ferhanistic Things) were among the most popular plays of the 1990s.