Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay while responding to questions from the Association of Diplomacy Correspondents in Ankara. AA photo
Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has harshly criticized the demand from the İzmir Education Directorate to censor a number of "immoral" parts of John Steinbeck's famous novel, "Of Mice and Men.", daily Hürriyet has reported.
Günay said he considered the demand to be "ignorance," while responding to questions from the Association of Diplomacy Correspondents in Ankara.
"Those who try to modify Steinbeck in Turkey in 2012 cannot be considered human. Fortunately, this incident has no link with our ministry. I hope Education Minister Ömer Dinçer will give a statement to enlighten both me and society as soon as possible," he said.
Günay also criticized the decision to censor a number of poems written by thirteenth century Turkish poet Yunus Emre.
"Yunus Emre is Anatolia's true voice. Nobody should dare modify, correct or censor his poems," Günay said.
The İzmir Education Directorate recently demanded that the National Education Ministry censor sections of Steinbeck's novel that it found inappropriate, while a number of Yunus Emre's poems were also recently censored by the ministry.
'The Magnificent Century disappointed me'
Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay also responded to questions regarding the soap opera "Muhteşem Yüzyıl" (The Magnificent Century), which was recently harshly criticized by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
"The Magnificent Süleyman is doubtless was world emperor. But he was slave of his love at the same time, and this is a real story, not fiction. If this story had been filmed as an international project it could have shaken the world, but it disappointed me," Günay said.
"Even before the prime minister's criticism I also thought the scenario had been written a bit carelessly," he added.
Erdoğan had criticized the series for its showing of sixteenth century Ottoman Emperor Süleyman the Magnificent in the palace with women in many scenes. He said this misrepresented Süleyman and invited prosecutors to sue it.