Turkish public library deems 5th century drawings too “obscene”
A public library in the eastern province of Elazığ refused to include a certain issue of the theater magazine “Mimesis” in its collection because it contained historical drawings dating back to the fifth century which the library felt were obscene, daily Hürriyet reported.
The head of Elazığ Town Public Library Ahmet Pirinççi told “Mimesis’” publishers that “the readers detected obscene drawings” in the content of the magazine’s 19th issue.
Pirinççi further claimed that a total of three families had complained the drawings were “corrupting the public's moral values.”
The library requested the publishers stop sending new issues of the magazine, even if they were donations.
The controversial drawings were found in an article published in 2004 about the depiction of women in Greek theater. Written by Washington scholar Sarah Culpepper Stroup the article looks at the roles of women in ancient Greek society.
“Elazığ Public Library has now officially censored material from the fifth century B.C.,” the publication’s publishers said in a statement issued on “Mimesis’” website.
“We find it absurd that an academic-scientific magazine, placed on hundreds of bookshelves around the country by the Culture Ministry, is being displaced by an institution working for the ministry itself,” the statement read.