Fiction is being prosecuted

Fiction is being prosecuted

We have been saying for a long time, especially to those who underestimate popular culture, that “popular” is politics. But even I could not imagine that we would take it to the level of being government practice to start legal proceedings on the grounds that a TV serial – the product of popular culture – is part of a “coup plot” against the government.

Within the context of the Dec. 14 “revenge” operation, it looks like for the first time, not only in Turkey, but in the world, two television serials are being put on the defendant’s chair. One of them, “Tek Türkiye,” stopped broadcasting a long time ago. The proceedings started retroactively. The other is “Sungurlar,” the continuation of “Şefkat Tepe.”

Sunday morning, Dec. 14, within the scope of the operation focused on daily Zaman and STV, the director and two scriptwriters of “Tek Türkiye,” which was on air four years ago, were detained and interrogated about their screenplay. More specifically, they were asked whether they had added certain thematic motifs to the story upon the instruction from a community leader. 

Samanyolu Media Group President Hidayet Karaca’s lawyer said his client was asked questions about the two shows. Adding that such an interrogation would mean the end of the TV serial sector, the lawyer said that from now on, screenplay writers, actors, producers and TV stations can be subject to the accusation of “being a member of a terrorist organization.”

This is really a grave example. It is similar to fighting with images and ghosts. It is a development that prompts the thought that fear is not all around but it is also in fiction, in the imagination…

It is claimed that Fethullah Gülen had a guiding, manipulating effect in these two shows. Well, if this is a crime, then isn’t there another crime committed in another TV serial production, which is open to a counter-manipulative effect? Or, if it is fictionalized with the manipulative effect of the government, then are they positioned to a different place other than the felon’s dock?

Thus, the same court that makes the “Sungurlar” serial a defendant, can easily call “The Valley of the Wolves” as a witness.

The question is this: If there was a “fiction crime” committed in serials at STV during those years when the relations between the “Gülen Community” and the ruling party’s government were sugar-coated, then why did they wait so long to prosecute it? Additionally, doesn’t this “crime” have a binding effect on those who were governing at that period in terms of negligence and tolerating this?

Also, there have been other TV shows aired in Turkey that could be prosecuted for their guiding effect in many horrible events, from the Hrant Dink assassination, to the Father Santoro murder, to the Malatya Zirve Publication massacre.

We do not know what the TV shows are accused of.

Since the friction between the party and the community emerged, the government has been in an obvious position of weakness against the fictional content of the STV show. Some popular culture sauced replies against the serial were inadequate. Despite the all-time popularity of “The Valley of the Wolves” the viewer attention on “Şefkat Tepe” never ceased. For a time “Kızılelma,” especially with its fictional content, tried to form a balance, but that did not work either. Latest, it was “Reaction,” which was literally the anti-thesis of “Şefkat Tepe/Sungurlar,” but let alone exploding, it imploded.

On the other hand, the last episode of “Sungurlar,” broadcast on the evening Dec. 13, was second in total ratings. The wrap-up of the show was 10th place in the ratings.

I am wondering if those who are viewing the show will also be subject to prosecution because they continue watching it despite its producers, director, screenwriters and actors all being accused of commuting crimes? Is there such a risk?