Public furious over shocking explicit content in children’s book
Ece Çelik – ISTANBUL
Prosecutors in Istanbul opened an inquiry over a children’s book named “Gül ve Düşün” (“Smile and Think” in Turkish), depicting a fox raping a bear, which has led to a massive social media campaign against the book and its writer, Musa Dinç.
The book reads in one of its chapters that the fox wants to take the bear’s virginity as a way of punishment where the raped bear is depicted as “guilty” and “someone without a reputation.”
Angry over the content of the book, social media users posted the pages of the book on Aug. 27, using hashtags like “Arrest Musa Dinç” and “Get rid of this book.”
Arı Sanat Press, the publisher of the book, was under public scrutiny as well where people commented, “How are we going to save our children,” “Don’t you control what you print?,” “The writer and his counterparts should be kept away from kids and animals,” and “Try the writer.”
The writer of the book defended himself, saying, “In good faith, I apologize. People who know me, know what a man I am. The insults against me are transgressive words.”
“People are undoubtedly right for being angry,” said Faruk Coşkun, an official from the publishing house, saying the story was a “mistake” to daily Hürriyet.
“Musa Dinç edited the book and out of trust, we did not check. We published it in 2018. But as soon as we got aware of the controversial content of the book in 2019, we stopped printing.”
“We destroyed all the books. But the booksellers, who bought it before, went on selling. We are sorry,” added Coşkun.
The Education Ministry has said that the book is not a textbook, so it is not under the ministry’s control. The Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry announced that it is a “detrimental book.”