« Cultural Battle in Turkey  » – Qantara

Ruler during the heyday of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century and the subject of a controversial television soap opera: Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent . Source : Qantara

« Emotions are running high in Turkey due to a new television series that supposedly paints an embarrassing picture of the private life of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I, thus tarnishing the image of the Ottoman Empire. Jürgen Gottschlich in Istanbul has the details

They came equipped with drums and dressed as Janissaries. Hundreds of demonstrators, mobilised by the Saadet Party, gathered outside the gates of the private television network Show TV and loudly demanded that a newly launched television series be taken off air. Muhtesem Yüzyil (in English « The Magnificent Century ») is currently the most hotly debated series on Turkish television.

 It tells of Suleiman the Magnificent and his harem. For Islamists, the right wing and those nostalgic for the days of the Ottoman Empire, the show represents a base betrayal of the country’s great past. After all, the 40-year reign of Suleiman Kanuni (known in Turkey not as « Suleiman the Magnificent », but as « Suleiman the Lawgiver ») was the heyday of the Ottoman Empire.

In no other era was the empire as powerful, never was it larger than in the sixteenth century, when Suleiman’s troops first conquered Budapest and then laid siege to Vienna. This heritage is nothing to laugh about. Its critics are calling the series « inappropriate », « disrespectful », « impertinent », « stupid » and, to make matters worse, « historically incorrect », saying that it consequently has no business being broadcast on Turkish television.

This is the opinion not only of conservative demonstrators on the street, but also of Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc, who publicly announced that he would wield his authority to try to stop the broadcasting of the harem soap opera. The state-run Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) was convened without delay. […] »

Source : Qantara

« 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