Deputy prime minister slams alcohol consumption and 'bad role models' in Turkish TV series

Deputy prime minister slams alcohol consumption and 'bad role models' in Turkish TV series

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Deputy prime minister slams alcohol consumption and bad role models in Turkish TV series

Bülent Arınç expressed his uneasiness with certain TV series on May 2. Last year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had criticized the representation of Süleyman the Magnificent in the ratings-breaking hit TV show 'Muhteşem Yüzyıl' (The Magnificent Century), causing big uproar. AA photo

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç slammed Turkish TV Series May 2, particularly criticizing the consumption of alcohol on screen and the plots of youth series. "Is the fact that these very famous people's hands are never very far from their glass [of liquor], that they [become] friends with the bottle related to the character’s role? Or is it connected to money, that secret sponsors are lining pockets, saying 'do our advertising'?" Arınç asked at the 19th anniversary of the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) in Ankara.

Arınç said scenes where the main protagonists of TV series are seen drinking alcohol encouraged viewers to imitate their favorite stars, but argued that a prohibition would not be an adequate measure. "Of course our citizens can consume whatever drinks they want. However, inciting the consumption of unhealthy drinks in society is not right. Rather than prohibition and penalization, audiovisual media should be more sensitive and take into account the sensibilities of society without commercial considerations," he said, adding that he would be the first to support a legal measure if there was social demand.

"I love our youth, our families. If society demands the prevention of something that can harm their body and intellect, and if the way is a legal arrangement, I would be ready for it."

Love replaced by 'daily whims of bad role models'

The deputy prime minister also expressed his uneasiness with youth series with high school or college students as the main protagonists. The plot, the representation of love and affection, the behavior of the protagonists and the way that they dress are all inappropriate, he said. "I personally feel there is mischief in the efforts to show the excitement, affection and love of youth with such bad role models," Arınç said, adding that these students did not represent reality.

However, he added, many students were influenced by the series, and especially tried to dress like the characters that impressed them. "Rest assured that all those who watch these series dress like this in their schools. They try to use the same expressions. They try to satisfy their love with daily whims. [The series] shouldn't so much lack quality."