The popular TV series based on the life of Ottoman sultan Süleyman ‘the Magnificient’ will be off the air if his proposal of a draft bill is approved by Parliament, says a lawmaker of the ruling party.
A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul deputy has said he submitted a parliamentary petition for a law to allow the banning of the widely popular Turkish period drama “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century).
Oktay Saral said on a TV show that the law proposal he submitted would be discussed in Parliament in early 2013.
“In 2013, ‘Muteşem Yüzyıl’ will be banned from broadcast,” he said.
Erdoğan recently dished out heavy criticism of “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” for its portrayal of the Ottoman ruler Süleyman the Magnificent. “We’ve alerted the authorities on this and we await a judicial decision on it,” Erdoğan said. “Those who toy with these values should be taught a lesson within the premises of law.” His claims have been widely discussed in the media and criticized by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
He also said this had been on the party’s agenda for a long time and that their action had nothing to do with Erdoğan’s recent comments. “We are not presenting this proposal because he made those remarks; this has been on our agenda because we have been receiving public complaints for so long.”
Saral said his proposal found support among members of opposition parties, mainly the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), as well as in the CHP.
He continued that the law would also show filmmakers how to conduct their work in compliance with Turkish family structure and moral values without humiliating Turkish youth and children.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines (THY) has blocked “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” from all in-flight channels following Erdoğan’s remarks, daily Hürriyet reported.
“We were about to start screening the show, but we changed our minds following the prime minister’s negative opinions,” a THY official told Hürriyet.
The series, however, still has a promotional advertisement running inside the national flag carrier’s in-flight magazine.
“The magazine had already been distributed,” the official said. “The prime minister’s statements came after that.” The Hürriyet Daily News contacted the press representatives of Turkish Airlines about the claims but did not receive a reply.
“Muhteşem Yüzyıl” is a popular TV show airing in Turkey and abroad, following the lives of the Ottoman ruler Süleyman and his love, Hürrem Sultan. The show focuses on Süleyman’s personal and palace life, portraying characters from the harem as well as from the royal family. The show’s critics claim the serial is degrading Turkish history by its caricaturesque portrayal of Sultan Süleyman in his harem.