Regardless of whether you like one of the most well-known US sitcom series or not, now the yellow characters of the cult show "The Simpsons" have penetrated to the top of Turkish politics.
According to press information, the background to the “freedom of the media”, which is now hotly debated again, is said to be a sketch in an episode of The Simpsons, in which the devil asks the Lord God if he could make him a coffee.
Whoever triggered the recent discussion, the accusation is clear: the Turkish broadcasting regulator RTÜK imposed a fine of €23,000 on broadcaster CNBC-E for broadcasting this program for insulting religious values. Sure, not everyone likes the sometimes really hearty humor of the Simpsons, that's probably true without a doubt. When the saying "Let's raise one at Christ's birth" is heard at Christmas time, it may surprise some viewers, but whether this makes it necessary for the Turkish broadcasting authority to intervene due to blasphemy is an open question.
Director of the national broadcasting authority RTÜK reassured
Even if the director of the national broadcasting authority RTÜK, Davut Dursun, appeases and does not describe blasphemy as the reason for the punishment, but rather the protection of children from violent scenes in the comic series, considerable doubts remain. Anyone who knows the series and films on Turkish television knows what they're talking about, because weapons and violence against people are the order of the day, even in the afternoon programme. "We wanted to protect the children," Davut Dursun is quoted as saying in the Turkish media, so that can't be the case, because then there would have to be a rain of penalties.
New York Times describes series as a kind of Ottoman "Sex and the City"
RTÜK has already taken action against programs on television several times in recent months, including against the main character in a crime series who, as a kind of Turkish Schimanski, is a bad role model for young people, according to the argument. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's criticism of the portrayal of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in the Turkish TV series "Muhtesem Yüzyil" resulted in a penalty for allegedly glorifying violence. In the statements from the press, of course, it sounds very different: "After all, Suleyman the Magnificent would have spent more than 30 years in the saddle," Prime Minister Erdogan is quoted as saying, how could he have had enough time for so much intrigue and so relaxed lifestyle. The image of Süleyman in the series, which could be translated as "Magnificent Century", is completely misrepresented. This is a clear request for RTÜK to deal with the very successful series, which has so far been sold in 22 countries, within the framework of the law. The New York Times even described the series as a kind of Ottoman "Sex and the City".
The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet aptly ridicules the events mentioned: "In a country where a prime minister watches a documentary in a TV series, one cannot expect a radio controller to understand an animated comedy".
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