The production company stopped its diffusion without a formal intervention from the Council but the incident brought a debate on programmes including hatespeech and violence and/or censorship.
Subtitled "Terror", the new series' content was to deal with the Kurdish insurgency and relations with Iraq.
"I can't accept the reasoning that violence is already commonplace", says Asst. Prof. Sevilay Celenk of Ankara University, "TV dramas are significant as they immerse mass viewers in a fictional story. This series in question contributed to the nationalist climate in the country, normalizing racist remarks and hate speech".
"Mob leaders role models"
Kurtlar Vadisi recalls the stories of a mob, with close references to recent history of Turkey.
"Those fictional mob leaders are role models" says Celenk "Viewers identify themselves with the fears and angers of those characters. Even it's not possible to claim that their actions would be imitated by viewers, one can very well talk of a strong decisive influence at the level of discourse".
"Therefore in all democratic countries there are regulations of broadcast and regulatory bodies to protect the viewers from such influences.
RTUK has been trying to fulfill its regulatory function in the last couple of years. In principle, Smart Signs, Viewer Representation and Media Literacy programs are all evidence to this change but the application of those rules are important.
Censorship isn't acceptable and I don't think that this is the case at this point. Law forbids "broadcasts that promote the use of violence or racist sentiments of hate" (article 4 of RTUK Law). We've to remind the production company of this point. International agreements also include this principle".
Series replaced by a "documentary"
While the channel removed the series from broadcast, it was replaced by a "documentary" where former anti-terror personel who fought against Kurdish guerillas in southeastern Turkey recalled their memoirs.
Named "Blood Sleep", Celenk says it wasn't less promotional of violence than the series. (TK/EÜ)
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