Sunday, 9 December 2012

Raunchy soap opera prompts Turkish law change as portrayal of sexy sultan sparks outrage

 Raunchy soap opera prompts Turkish law change as portrayal of sexy sultan sparks outrage

  • Magnificent Century branded 'twisted' by Turkish MPs
  • Outrage over its portrayal of 16th Century Sultan Suleiman I
  • Critics accuse politicians of deflecting attention from bigger issues
By Jimmy Mccloskey

Turkish MPs may ban a hugely popular soap opera after it depicted a venetrated Sultan from the Middle Ages as a hard-drinking womaniser.
Magnificent Century, which attracts 150m viewers an episode, was branded 'twisted' by politicians in the conservative Muslim country over its depiction of Suleiman I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised the show last month, and a draft law has now been proposed that could see disrespectful historical TV and film adaptions banned.

Mobs of protesters deface a Magnificent Century billboard in Istanbul in protest at its sexy scenes
He condemned the show 'before the nation' - and his sentiments were echoed by MP Oktay Saral, who has proposed the new bill.
Mr Saral said the show 'Imposed on Suleiman the Magnificent, a person who spent his life on horseback serving his country and his nation, is a life entirely composed of the bedroom and based on twisted relationships.'
Magnificent Century attracts around a third of all television viewers during its prime time slot every Wednesday and is even shown in countries as far flung as Hungary and Japan.
But it has riled Turkish hardliners over scenes showing Suleiman I hitting the bottle and cavorting with the women in his harem.
The Sultan, nicknamed the Magnificent in the West and the Lawgiver in the East was at the helm of the Ottoman Empire during its glory days in the mid-16th Century.
 Raunchy soap opera prompts Turkish law change as portrayal of sexy sultan sparks outrage
The show takes a melodramatic look at the life of 16th century Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I
He went against social conventions at the time by marrying a Ukrainian woman from his harem.
The bid to ban Magnificent Century and similar shows comes amid growing accusations that the PM is meddling in social issues.
He has already shocked voters this year by proposing to reinstate the death penalty and ban abortion.
Mr Erdogan has also announced controversial plans to build a huge new mosque on Istanbul's largest hill.
His critics claim the eye-catching proposals are an attempt to distract voters from wider issues, including the government's handling of the crisis in Syria and growing unrest among Turkish Kurds.
And one of the show's former stars has condemned the proposals, claiming the PM wanted to 'change the agenda.'
Nebahat Cehre, who played the Sultan's mother in the first two series of the show added: 'I can't think of any other reason to discuss an imaginary television series when there are so many problems in a country.'

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