“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

“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

” ‘Their entire lifestyle is under our guarantee’ ” – Sabah

Source : Sabah

“Erdoğan spoke harshly about recent events currently occupying the agenda, spanning from new alcohol regulations to the debate surrounding the release of Hezbollah members, and asserts that they are part of a campaign directed at the AK Party.

During an address to AK Party District Chairman, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, qualified the recent debate which has surfaced regarding the monument in Kars, new alcohol regulations, the Magnificent Century series and Television and Radio Supreme Council (RTÜK) regulations and the recent release of suspected Hezbollah members as being a smear campaign directed towards the AK Party. “People drink themselves sick and we don’t interfere. Have we torn down a single statue in the past eight years?” Erdoğan emphasizes, “The issue is something else.” Describing recent events as a smear campaign due to the approaching elections, Erdoğan went on to deliver the following messages during a meeting of Justice and Development Party District Chairmen.

• (Magnificent Century) Confidentiality is very significant to us. The moral values of historical figures are extremely important for us. We are a deeply rooted society and state. We are people who have built a civilization and are the very description of civilization. […]

• The CHP Chairman is using the Television and Radio Supreme Council (RTÜK) regulations to lash out at us in the harshest manner. Wouldn’t someone check before they go ahead and accuse of something? The regulation in question was put in place while CHP was in power and it grants the authority, if necessary, for ministers or the Prime Minister to halt a broadcast. The present CHP Chairman is unaware of this. And obviously no one informed him. Now, he goes and holds us responsible for regulations his own party established. He blushes from decency, however unfortunately, we are face to face with an opposition that blushes and then places decency on the shelf. […]”

Source : Sabah

“RTÜK Draft Bill Opposes Constitution” – Bianet

“Communications lawyer İlkiz criticized the RTÜK draft bill: “The government cannot intervene against radio and television broadcasts. The provision should be lifted. It will cause illegal applications”.

Communications lawyer Fikret İlkiz declared that the “Draft Law on Radio and Television Enterprises and Broadcasting Services” was contrary to the law and the public’s right to information because it preserves the Prime Minister’s authority to interrupt broadcasts under “extraordinary circumstances”.

İlkiz pointed out that Article 25 on the “Suspension of Broadcasts” of Law No. 3984 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and Their Broadcasts was preserved in the new draft bill. In an interview with bianet, the lawyer argued that the situation became even more complicated. (…)”

Source : Bianet


“Show TV to apologize over controversial show” – Today’s Zaman

“A television series set in the time of Ottoman Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent has received a formal reprimand from state broadcasting watchdog Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).

The broadcaster, Show TV, is poised to issue a formal apology for the first episode of the show, which was aired two weeks ago.

The series, titled “The Magnificent Century,” violates the broadcasting principle that says television cannot air content that “goes against the national and spiritual values of the people and the Turkish family structure.” The only RTÜK member who voted against the decision to issue a reprimand was Hülya Alp of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). RTÜK members are elected from among members of the ruling and opposition parties.

Show TV is now obliged to publicly announce RTÜK’s ruling and apologize formally.(…)”

Source : Today’s Zaman

“RTÜK: “Magnificent Century” Series Clashes with “Moral Values”.” – Bianet

RTÜK issued a warning to Show TV on the grounds of the series “Magnificent Century”. The series about the life of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent went on air on 6 January. It is alleged to be “contrary to the national and moral values of the society”, RTÜK said.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) issued a warning to the Turkish television station Show TV on the grounds of the series “Magnificent Century” (‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’). The series about the life of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent was criticized by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç and members of the Prosperity Party (SP).

Feelings ran high already after promotional material had been broadcasted from 11 December onwards and billboards to advertise for the series were posted. Some people demanded to cancel the series even before the first episode had been broadcasted. On 5 January, a group of protestors gathered in front of the television station in Levent/Istanbul to express their disapproval.(…)”

Source : Bianet

“Turkey watchdog slams channel for sultan portrayal” – Sabah

Source : Sabah

“Turkey’s state broadcasting board has ordered a television channel to issue an apology over a controversial series featuring an Ottoman sultan for invading his privacy with scenes from his harem.

The Radio and Television Supreme Board says Show TV was warned Wednesday for not showing the necessary sensitivity toward the privacy of historical figures. It says the board has received tens of thousands of complaints, requesting a ban on the “Magnificent Century,” a drama that portrays Suleyman the Magnificent.

The board warns that the airing of the series can be stopped up to 12 times if the channel does not comply. The next episode will be aired Wednesday night.

The watchdog has no power to ban or intervene in programs before they are aired.”

Source : Sabah

“Record number of complaints filed against TV show” – Today’s Zaman

“Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century). Source: Today's Zaman

“A new TV series has drawn over 90 percent of the complaints Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) received since its trailers began to be aired.

RTÜK received 64,000 complaints in nine months last year while viewers filed 75,000 complaints in 25 days against the controversial TV show “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century), the Anatolia news agency reported.

The series about the famous Ottoman Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent, also known as Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (Süleiman the Lawmaker), continues to draw criticism for the way the series depicts the empire and the life of the sultan. The repeated scenes of the sultan with women in the harem and historical inaccuracies have resulted in many people calling on RTÜK to ban the series. Trailers for the series, broadcast by Show TV, began to be aired on Dec. 11. From that date until Jan. 6, 93 percent of all complaints filed with the RTÜK concerned “Muhteşem Yüzyıl.” A total of 80,681 complaints were submitted to the council during these 25 days. Among the sum of the complaints, 38,096 of them were submitted after the show was aired on Jan. 5.(…)”

Source : Today’s Zaman

” “Organized” Intolerance against “Magnificent Century” Series” – Bianet

After a statement of Deputy PM Arınç against the series “Magnificent Century”, members of the Felicity Party protested in front of the Show TV building. MHP members demanded to cancel the series. The history advisor and scriptwriter do not agree with the reactions.

The new TV series “Magnificent Century” set in the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century created quite a stir in the Turkish media and public. The series was launched on Show TV in the beginning of January. It was criticized by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), the Anatolian Agency, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) and the responsible Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. The series furthermore took flak from nationalist and Islamic parties.

Members of the Prosperity Party (SP) and the Anatolian Youth Association were accompanied by janissary musicians when they walked to the building of Show TV to express their protest against the series. Demonstrators destroyed advertisements of the series. Saying ‘Allah is great’, they also shouted slogans such as “Don’t sleep, government; take care of our history” and “Break the hands of the ones who touch the Ottomans”(…)

Source : Bianet

“Magnificent century?” – Today’s Zaman

“General elections are approaching, some inmates have been released from prison after a law came into effect recently, university students are unhappy and the outsourcing of the workforce is increasing rapidly; but nowadays, Turkish society has another hot topic to discuss — a new TV series, “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century).

This series is about Suleiman the Magnificent, one of the most renowned Ottoman sultans. While the first episode was only broadcast on TV this week, heated discussions about it cannot be described as magnificent, but amazing.

Complaints started up well before its premiere was aired. The TV channel broadcast teasers for the series, which caused many viewers to rush to the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) to file complaints. Some viewers took exception to the way the series depicts the private life of Suleiman the Magnificent and his harem, which they say is unacceptable. (…)”


Source : Today’s Zaman

“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

“İlk defa sektörün bütün bileşenleri bir slogan altında birleşti” – Emek Dünyasi

Sinan Biçici. Source : Emek Dünyasi

“SENDER’in başlattığı, “Yerli dizi yersiz uzun” eyleminin yankıları sürüyor. RTÜK, Çalışma Bakanlığı ve Kültür Bakanlığı bu konuda çalışma başlatıyorlar. Süreci SENDER Genel Sekreteri Sinan Biçici’ye sorduk.

Senaryo Yazarları Derneği SENDER’in başlattığı, “Yerli dizi yersiz uzun” eyleminin yankıları sürüyor.Yönetmeninden senaristine, oyuncusuna set işçisine kadar dizi çalışanlarının 24 Aralık 2010 ‘da AKM önünde yaptığı eylem büyük etki yarattı. RTÜK, Çalışma Bakanlığı ve Kültür Bakanlığı bu konuda çalışma başlatıyorlar. Süreci SENDER Genel Sekreteri Sinan Biçici’ye sorduk.

RTÜK Başkanı, Çalışma Bakanı ve Kültür Bakanı’nın yaptığı açıklamayı nasıl değerlendiriyorsunuz?

8 Kasım tarihinde bir basın açıklaması yaparak 30’dan fazla ilgili kuruma dilekçe göndermiştik. Aralarında cumhurbaşkanlığı, başbakanlık, çalışma bakanlığı, kültür bakanlığı, RTÜK, yayıncı kuruluşlar bulunuyordu. RTÜK başkanı, çalışma bakanı ve kültür bakanının açıklaması bizim bu başvurumuza cevap niteliği taşıyor. Gerçi bu ilgili kurumlar bize resmi bir yanıt vermediler ama bunu kamuoyuyla paylaşmaları da önemli. 


Source : Emek Dünyasi

“Turkish broadcasting board moves to change episode length” – Hürriyet

“Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, has launched a pilot study of the long duration of serial episodes in Turkey, addressing complaints from viewers.

“Our institution considers viewers’ concerns, rather than just those of broadcasters, bringing new regulations to address their demands as well,” said RTÜK Chairman Davut Dursun, according to an Anatolia news agency Sunday report.”

Source : http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=rtuk-launched-research-on-long-serial-episodes-time-length-2011-01-02

“Diziler mi sansürlenmeli, bu siyasetçiler mi?” – Sol

“Dün Meclis’te milletvekilleri arasında yaşanan dizi tartışmasının seviyesi, daha önce yaşanan örneklerle de birlikte düşünülünce, toplum sağlığı açısından diziler mi sansürlenmeli, yoksa her gün televizyonda insanların karşısına çıkan bu siyasetçiler mi sorusu akla geliyor.

Televizyonlarda yayınlanan ve her biri bir uzun metrajlı film uzunluğunda olan diziler, halkı ekran başına kilitleyerek atıllaştırmalarından içerdikleri milliyetçi-gerici mesajlara, çalışma saatlerinin 14-15 saat bulduğu dizi setlerindeki insanlık dışı çalışma koşullarına kadar pek çok açıdan tartışılıyor. Ama TBMM’de değil. Çünkü milletvekilleri dizilerin bu yönleriyle hiç ilgili olmadılar. Şiddet içerenleri övdüler, cinsellik içerenlere bir yandan sansür istediler bir yandan da bu dizileri müstehcen bir dille tartışmayı yeğlediler. Dün de öyle oldu…

TBMM Dilekçe Komisyonu’nun dünkü toplantısında milletvekillerinin televizyon dizileri üzerine yaptığı tartışmanın seviyesi ve sarfedilen kelimeler gerçekten çok düşündürücüydü. Siyasetçilerin bu tartışmasına bakınca, dizilerin şikâyet edilen içerikleriyle, ülkeyi yönetenlerin nitelikleri arasında bir kıyaslama gereği doğuyor.

TBMM Dilekçe Komisyonu’nun AKP Şanlıurfa Milletvekili Yahya Akman’ın başkanlığında yapılan dünkü toplantısının gündemi dizilerdi. Ancak dizilerin halk üzerindeki olumsuz etkisinin masaya yatırıldığı bu toplantıdaki konuşmalara bakınca, komisyonda bulunan milletvekilleri için ayrı bir “sansür komisyonuna” ihtiyaç var gibi görünüyor. Konuşmaları yorumsuz olarak paylaşıyoruz;” […]

Source : Sol

“Dizilere 12 Eylül’ü aratmayan yasaklar geliyor!” – Sol

“Yeni RTÜK Yasa Tasarısı’nda sona gelindi. Yarın Anayasa Komisyonu’nda görüşülecek olan alt komisyon raporu, “müstehcen görünteler” yayınladığı iddia edilen dizilere ağır yaptırımlar getiriyor. Çizgi filmlere ise Türk kültürünü yansıtma zorunluluğu getiriliyor.

Dizilere sansür yorumlarını yapan düzenlemelerin gericilerin bazı diziler aleyhine başlattıkları kampanyanın ardından gündeme gelmesi dikkat çekti.

Zaman gazetesinde “şikayet rekorları kıran dizilere çekidüzen verecek” diyerek duyurulan yeni tasarı, müstehcenlik, şiddet, bozuk Türkçe ve ağır argo içeren dizilere ağır yaptırımlar öngörüyor. Tasarı yasalaştığında aile yapısını zedelediği ileri sürülen müstehcen görüntüler yayınlayan televizyon kanallarına ‘uyarı’ yapılmadan ağır para cezası verilebilecek.

Televizyonlar, “teröre hizmet edeceği” gerekçesiyle saldırıları ve yaralı görüntülerini canlı yayınlayamayacak. Çatışma görüntüleri de yayınlanamayacağı gibi, hayatını kaybeden askerin ailesine bu haberin veriliş anı ekrana getirilemeyecek.

“Teröre destek veren, mezhep ayrımı ve Atatürk ilkelerine aykırı yayın yapan” kuruluşlara da ağır yaptırımlar getiren yeni düzenlemeyle bu kuruluşların yaptıkları bu tür yayınları tekrarlamaları durumunda lisans iptali söz konusu olabilecek. Bu düzenlemenin Kürt ve Alevi yayın organlarını tehdit ettiği belirtiliyor.” […]

Source : Sol