« The Turkish Soap Opera « Noor », More Real than Life » – Qantara

Photographs depicting the lead characters of Turkish TV soap 'Noor' are being arranged in a factory in the West Bank city of Hebron. Source : Qantara

 » From Saudi Arabia to Morocco: Every evening the Turkish series « Noor » draws millions of people to their television sets. The show is about love, intimacy and equality; no social taboo is ignored. Some see in « Noor » proof of social change, others only fiction. Alfred Hackensberger reports

[…] This is male behavior that women here only know from Western film productions and that does not occur in Arab TV productions. For many female viewers gentle Mohannad is a male ideal.

« Our society », explains the Vice President of Bahrain’s Women’s Union, Fatima Rabea, « is not accustomed to such intimacy and love. We are so busy with our everyday lives that a loving relationship takes a back seat. The TV series ‘Noor’ has now awakened the desire for this. »

« Satanic and immoral, » is how the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia described the Turkish television series « Noor » while demanding that TV stations immediately cancel this « attack on God and his prophets ».

In the Palestinian city of Nablus a member of the parliament and preacher from the radical Islamist party Hamas warned against the series, which violates « religion, values, and tradition ».

The criticism from both conservative dignitaries is not directed solely at the liberal TV role model of man and woman. The Turkish soap opera has broken other social taboos in conservative Muslim societies, which has also contributed to the success of the series. […] »

Source : Qantara.de

« Prosecutor Investigates A TV Show For Defamation Of Atatürk » – Bianet

« Nuray Bezirgan, a Muslim woman, admits she does not like Atatürk in a TV program and the prosecutor starts an investigation.

Beyoğlu Prosecutor has started an investigation concerning the remarks Nuray Bezirganmade about Atatürk in the television program titled “Teke Tek.” The other participant wasKevser Çakır. Prosecutor construed the remarks as insulting Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. » (…)

Source : http://bianet.org/english/religion/107620-prosecutor-investigates-a-tv-show-for-defamation-of-ataturk

« Turkey eyes reform of media ownership law -paper » – Reuters

« Turkey’s government is preparing a reform which would allow foreigners to own 50 percent of private broadcasters rather than a current 25 percent, Sabah newspaper reported on Saturday.

Sabah, without citing sources, said the draft reform law had been presented to the prime minister’s office.

The current law was an obstacle in last year’s sale of media firm ATV-Sabah, bankers and analysts said.

After several foreign firms showed interest, the company — which includes Sabah newspaper — was sold to local conglomerate Calik Holding for the minimum auction price of $1.1 billion.

The pro-business AK Party tried to reform the law on foreign ownership in 2005 but the bill was vetoed by the former president. Current President Abdullah Gul is a former member of the AK Party and has a track record of approving legislation passed by the AK-dominated parliament.

Turkey’s fast-growing media sector is dominated by Dogan Yayin Holding (DYHOL.IS). The second largest company is ATV-Sabah, which is made up of assets seized by a state body from the Ciner Group last year and which was sold to Calik in December.

Third largest is the media business of unlisted conglomerate Cukurova, which, according to sources familiar with the situation, has been looking to sell a stake in its media assets.

A large and young population, coupled with annual economic growth of around 5 percent makes the Turkish media market attractive to investors. Companies which expressed an interest in ATV-Sabah included News Corp. NWSA.N and Europe’s largest commercial broadcaster RTL AUDK.LU. (Reporting by Emma Ross-Thomas, Editing by Peter Blackburn) »

Source : Reuters

« 39 TV Programmes Stopped in September  » – Bianet

« The Press Council has announced that the Radio and Televison Supreme Council stopped 39 programmes of 16 channels in September.

The General Secretary of the Press Council, Oktay Eksi, has evaluated the state of the freedom of communication of the previous month.

Based on information coming from national television stations, he announced that the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) stopped 39 programmes of 16 TV channels in September.(…) « 

Source : Bianet

 

« Free Speech Debate Targets Controversial Television Series » – Eurasianet.org

« The recent cancellation of the phenomenally popular Turkish television series Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of the Wolves) has prompted a growing debate in the country about whether limiting free speech to curb violence and resurgent nationalism is censorship or good government.

For the last few years, Valley of the Wolves, a chronicle of life in Turkey’s criminal underworld, has been an almost unstoppable ratings star. A spin-off movie, which saw the show’s hero doing battle with the United States military in Iraq, ranks as Turkey’s highest-grossing movie ever.

Valley of the Wolves, which was canceled in February one episode into a new run on the privately owned Show TV, tells the story of Polat Alemdar, a patriotic undercover intelligence officer who infiltrates the Turkish mafia, but starts operating in the murky zone where the interests of unsavory elements from the government and organized crime meet. The new season was supposed to deal with the problem of Kurdish terrorism, but many feared that the show’s take on this extremely volatile topic would only fan sectarian tensions in Turkey.(…) »

Source : Eurasianet.com

 

« TV Series Promoting Hate Speech Blocked » – Bianet

« A new TV series which promotes use of violence and promotes hate and racist sentiments was removed from broadcast following consistent complaints. This very series contributed to the nationalist ideological climate in the country says, Asst Prof. Celenk.

A controversial TV series, namely Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of Wolfs), has been removed from broadcast following disperse complaints by viewers to the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK).

The production company stopped its diffusion without a formal intervention from the Council but the incident brought a debate on programmes including hatespeech and violence and/or censorship.

Subtitled « Terror », the new series’ content was to deal with the Kurdish insurgency and relations with Iraq.(…) »

Source : Bianet

European flag proposal by Rem Koolhas (2001)

European Flag Proposal by Rem Koolhas. source : Wikipedia Commons

« Following the signing of Treaties of Nice in May 2001, which made Brussels the de facto capital of the European Union, the then President of theEuropean CommissionRomano Prodi and the Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt invited Koolhaas to discuss the necessities and requirements of a European capital.

During these talks and as an impetus for further discussion, Koolhaas and his think-tank AMO – an independent part of OMA – suggested the development of a visual language. This idea inspired a series of drawings and drafts, including the « Barcode« . The barcode seeks to unite the flags of the EU member countries into a single, colourful symbol. In the current European flag, there is a fixed number of stars. In the barcode however, new Member States of the EU can be added without space constraints. Originally, the barcode displayed 15 EU countries. In 2004, the symbol was adapted to include the ten new Member States.

Since the time of the first drafts of the barcode it has very rarely been officially used by commercial or political institutions. During the Austrian EU Presidency 2006 it was officially used for the first time. The logo has already been used for the EU information campaign which will also be continued during the Austrian EU Presidency. There was initially some uproar caused, as the stripes of the flag of Estonia were displayed incorrectly. »

Source : Wikipedia