Turkey Mulls Banning Popular TV Dating Shows

“There are some strange programs that would scrap the institution of family, take away its nobility and sanctity.”

According to the Turkish government, some popular TV dating shows don’t fit with the Turkish traditions and customs. Therefore, the government is planning to ban such programs.

While referring to matchmaking reality shows, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said, “Here are some strange programs that would scrap the institution of family, take away its nobility and sanctity.”

“We are working on this and we are coming to the end of it. God willing, in the near future, we will most likely remedy this with an emergency decree. God willing, we will meet these societal demands,” he added.

Kurtulmus also slammed those who claimed they were ratings successes and said, “So what, the ratings are very high and thus the advertising revenue is high? Let there not be that kind of advertising revenues.”

He further described the dating shows as counter to the “customs, traditions, beliefs, the Turkish family structure and the culture of Anatolian lands.”

Diyanet, the Turkish religious affairs agency, also criticized matchmaking shows, saying they “exploited family values and desecrated the family institution by stepping on it with [their] feet.”

Despite being very popular in Turkey, matchmaking reality shows like "Ne Çikarsa Bahtina "(Luck of the Draw) attract thousands of complaints every year.

The ruling party in Turkey, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), sees the shows out of harmony with the Islamic values introduced by the government. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a revolutionary leader who served as the president of Turkey from 1923 until his death in 1938, laid the foundations of a secular Turkey. However, according to critics, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been sliding toward conservative Islam.

Erdogan is very stringent when it comes to the media. Media blackouts in the secular republic are becoming somewhat of a norm. The government reportedly placed over 150 different bans on media reporting in the country.

Recently, while making comments at a press conference Erdogan explained his plans to switch Turkey from parliamentary to presidential system by comparing his future reign to that of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

He also stirred a controversy when he described abortion as tantamount to "murder." His comments angered women's rights groups and sparked an intense debate in the mainly Muslim nation.






Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Osman Orsal 

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