« Incest: The last taboo in Turkish cinema and TV » – Hürriyet Daily News

The movie, ‘When Derin Falls,’ is about a 8 -year-old girl, who tries connecting with her father in every possbile way, including encounters with sexual undertones. Source : Hürriyet

« The recent controversy around a Turkish film dealing with incest reminded many of a similar brouhaha over another film on incest two years ago, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s warning to TV producers to keep incest away from screens

Red flags were raised amid media delirium last week when the head of the jury for a national film festival openly condemned a movie on moral grounds, allegedly threatening to ban the movie from entering the national competition.

The festival was the Golden Orange Film Festival, the biggest one in Turkey. The head of the jury was the ever-controversial Hülya Avşar, who had made headlines in the summer when a member of the jury resigned in protest over her selection, questioning her judgment and knowledge of film.

The film, which became the most talked-about film of the festival, was director Çağatay Tosun’s sophomore feature “Derin Düşün-ce” (a word play that could mean “Deep Thought” or “When Derin Falls,” referring to the little protagonist’s name). And the controversial subject matter was incest, a no-go area in Turkish cinema, television, literature and pop culture. […]

Incest is indeed a taboo that is ignored and remains invisible in the media, in cinema and on TV. And if there is a hint of incest, censorship comes in all forms and from all places. Sometimes it’s the audience, sometimes the head of the jury, and at other times, it’s the deputy prime minister.

Last spring, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç made a statement out of the blue in an attempt to put into action his conservative views on relationships (and probably the views of his fellow members of the pro-Islamic ruling Justice and Development Party – AKP) as depicted in dozens of TV series.

“Some of the marginal themes seen in recent TV series, such as relationships between people of the opposite sex and incest, have become cause for serious criticism, upsetting society. We have to take seriously the criticisms regarding these series. These themes have to be reassessed,” said Arınç, stealing headlines for a few days if not actually making much of an impact on the plots in the series.

It was not that difficult to trace the inappropriate relationships between the sexes he was referring to, as infidelity, marital rape and abusive relationships are not new to recent TV series in Turkey. But incest? The closest reference Arınç could have in mind was the series “Eve Düşen Yıldırım” (Lightning Strikes Home), which features two cousins falling in love; it’s not an unusual situation, and one that is definitely not found immoral in most parts of Turkey. The story, on the other hand, was not an original one written for TV. “Eve Düşen Yıldırım” was an adaptation of Turkish writer Nahid Sırrı Örik’s 1934 novel of the same name. In fact, it was not that uncommon to see cousins falling in love and marrying in the Turkish novels of the early 20th century, seen in such classics like Reşat Nuri Güntekin’s 1922 novel “Çalıkuşu” (The Wren) or “Aşk-ı Memnu” (Forbidden Love) by Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil, serialized in 1900. Of course, when the latter was adapted to TV to huge success in 2008. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« First-ever Kurdish TV series ‘Siya Mem-u Zin’ receives accolades » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Once a prohibited poet, Ahmed-i Hani’s poetic work Mem-u Zin was first translated as a book from Kurdish into Turkish and then later was adapted for the screen by TRT 6.

Held at the Rixos Hotel, last night’s premiere gala for « Siya Mem-u Zin », which translates to ‘In the Shadow of Mem-u Zin’, brought out high level members of the state. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, Minister of Finance Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Defense İsmet Yılmaz and Minister of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry Mehdi Eker all gave a thumbs up to Turkey’s first television program shot and broadcast in Kurdish. During his address at the gala, Minister Eker started off speaking in Kurdish and later switched into Turkish.

Eker explained that Ahmed-i Hani holds a very special place in his life and stated, « For a while, Mem-u Zin would be told along with a series of secretly hidden legends. There were even times when if someone was caught with a copy of the tale, they would be forced to endure torture. The point we have reached now is an extremely important development. »

Deputy Prime Minister Arınç states, « We will break free from this terrorism curse, which we all complain of, by getting to know each other better and by holding one another in high esteem. »

Adapted from the famous work by Ahmed-i Hani, which was completed in 1964, « Siya Mem-u Zin » is produced by Aytekin Mert and directed by Yusuf Güven. The series stars Cem Kurtoğlu, Süleyman Karadağ, Bilal Yörük and Yaprak Durmaz. »

Source : Sabah

« SABAH receives three awards from İMEDYA » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Last night, İMEDYA’s « 2010 Stars of Economy Awards » were distributed to their rightful owners in an awards ceremony. While SABAH was selected as the year’s most successful newspaper, Aytuğ and Yaşar were also awarded for their contributions.

Sabah received three awards in last night’s ceremony for the 10th Annual İmedya TV and 2010 Stars of Economy Awards », which named Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan as 2010’s « Most Successful Leader. »

SABAH Editor-in-Chief Erdal Şafak received the award granted to the newspaper, while Yüksel Aytuğ was awarded as the most successful magazine columnist.

The third award recipient from SABAH Newspaper is Economy Writer Süleyman Yaşar. Yaşar received the Economy News Ethics Award, which is granted to promote serious, superior, high-quality, moral articles befitting of the sector’s ethics.

A COLOURFUL NIGHT

Last night’s İmedya Awards Ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Erdoğan, was a lively event. Held in the Rixos Hotel; amongst the attendees were Deputy Prime Minister’s Bülent Arınç and Cemil Çiçek, State Minister Zafer Çağlayan, former Minister of Transportation Binali Yıldırım, State Minister Egemen Bağış as well as a number of prominent figures from the economy world as well as famous musician Orhan Gencebay. Acclaimed clarinetist Hüsnü Şenlendirici added colour to the evening with a performance. While delivering an opening speech, İmedya Executive Board Chairman Münci İnci addressed Prime Minister Erdoğan by saying, « I love you. » Deputy Prime Minister Çiçek, Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, State Minister Çağlayan, former Minister of Transportation Yıldırım and State Minister Ali Babacan were selected as the most successful ministers in 2010.

CONGRATULATIONS

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş was selected as the most successful municipal mayor. The award for the most successful banks for 2010 was awarded to Halk Bank and Garanti Bank. The most successful businessman award went to Ferit Şahenk and Fettah Tamince. Özgü Namal was selected as the most successful television series star for her role in Hanımın Çifliği. The awards for the most successful music stars were granted to Mustafa Ceceli, Enbe Orkestrası, Sertab Erener and Sıla. Meanwhile, the evening’s honorary award was handed to Orhan Gencebay. During his address, Gencebay delivered a message of brotherhood and afterwards Prime Minister Erdogan went and personally congratulated the musician.

The AWARD FOR 2010’S MOST SUCCESSFUL LEADER

After being selected as the most successful leader in 2010, and as he received his award, Erdoğan went on to state, « We do not make promises we cannot fulfill. In the past empty promises were made. Years past and none of these promises came to fruition. » »

Source : Sabah

« Turks protest TV drama showing boozing sultan » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Turkish protestors angry over the depiction of an Ottoman sultan drinking alcohol and wooing women in a new television series threw eggs and chanted « God is Great » outside of the broadcaster’s studio on Sunday.

A group of about 100 protestors, accompanied by a band playing Ottoman military music, marched to the offices of the entertainment channel Show TV, which broadcasts « The Magnificent Century », in Istanbul’s financial district of Levent.

The historical drama shows Sultan Suleiman I, also called Suleiman the Magnificent who ruled from 1494 to 1566, with his wives and concubines in his harem.

It also shows him drinking alcohol, which is proscribed by Islam. Ottoman sultans were also caliphs, or Islamic leader, until the theocracy was toppled and the secular Turkish Republic that succeeded it abolished the caliphate in 1924.

Demonstrators ripped down posters advertising « The Magnificent Century » near Show TV’s offices and threw eggs at the channel’s windows.

« Sultan Suleiman was just and moral throughout his lifetime, » said Abdullah Demir, 55, who was among the protestors. « To show him as a man who had a predilection for alcohol and women makes us very uncomfortable.

« This is a provocation to make people think it is OK to have sex and to drink, » Demir said.

Historians consider Suleiman’s reign the height of Ottoman military, political and economic power.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, has received a record 75,000 complaints since the « The Magnificent Century » aired its first show on Jan 5, CNN Turk reported.

The watchdog regularly bans or suspends TV programmes it deems unsuitable on moral or political grounds, but no ruling has yet been made on the new programme, the channel said.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said last week the government would take measures regarding the series, which had caused him « concern and sadness », but did not elaborate further.

The ruling AK Party is a conservative grouping that calls itself secular but traces its roots to political Islam.

European Union candidate Turkey’s population of 73 million is 99.9 percent Muslim but its constitution is secular and the consumption of alchohol is legal. »

Source : Sabah

« Turkish TV series slammed for sultan portrayal » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Some Turks are furious over a new television series that they believe depicts an Ottoman sultan in a negative light, and the government is promising to respond to the complaints.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says the government will act « within the framework of the law » following an outcry over « The Magnificent Century, » a drama on Show TV that portrays the 16th-century rule of Suleyman the Magnificent.

Suleyman presided over the Ottoman empire’s glory years, but some commentators say the series hurts his reputation, showing him in his harem and apparently consuming alcohol, which is banned in Islam.

A script writer for the show says Suleyman only had a fruit drink in his goblet in the first episode, which aired Wednesday. »

Source : Sabah