“Homosexuality and sexual violence on prime time Turkish television: there is a lot of shocking stuff being broadcast in Turkey these days. And Turkish conservatives are horrified.
On September 16, about one-third of all Turkish television viewers tuned in to watch one of the country’s most popular young actresses being gang-raped in the first episode of a new drama series. A couple of days later, a television channel bought recently by a businessman close to the former Islamist government televised the first ever Turkish-made soap opera to show two men in bed together, naked.
Such scenes have caused outrage among traditionalists belonging to all shades of the political spectrum. (…)”
“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.(…)”