Turkey to ban TV series about Sultan

ISTANBUL – Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1494-1566) spent thirty years of his life on a horse, stated the Turkish PM Erdogan. But in the highly popular TV soap ‘Muhtesem Yüzyil’, ‘The Magnificent Century’, he is mainly focused on the feminine beauty in the harem. A distortion of historical facts, according to the Prime Minister, and that’s why the series has to end. A law to indeed ban the series is ready to be sent to parliament.

In the new law it will be forbidden to ‘show historical events and figures that are highly esteemed by society in a way that humiliates, belittles or distorts them or doesn’t reflect their reality’. The party of PM Erdogan, the AKP, expects that the soap series will vanish from TV in 2013. The Magnificent Century started in January 2011, and immediately caused strong negative reactions. Still, the series is a major hit.

The AKP claims it’s not the rejection of The Magnificent Century by Erdogan that has lead to the new law, but the huge amount of complaints about the series that were sent to both the party and media watchdog RTÜK.

The debate about censorship is being heated up again by the bill, also because earlier this week the channel that broadcasts the animation series The Simpsons was fined by RTÜK for blasphemy.

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