Pundits face jail time for ‘insulting prized Turkish TV series Valley of the Wolves’
An Istanbul court on Dec. 10 started the trial of five TV workers, including popular musician-turned-pundit Nihat Doğan, over charges of insulting “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves), a Turkish action TV series and movie.
Prosecutors are demanding more than eight years of jail time for Doğan, his co-worker Ömür Varol and three others for “insulting” and “slandering” the series, a leading export item of the Turkish entertainment industry.
Necati Şaşmaz, the leading actor of the series, also said he was “personally insulted” on during a television show hosted by Doğan and Varol private broadcaster Beyaz TV.
Lawyers of Pana Film, the producers of the series, say the pundits falsely claimed that the series “threatened” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with violence, mixing grabs from an episode aired in 2015 with “fake visuals.”
The court ruled that the court case was compulsory for the five suspects, who did not attend the first hearing.
In a separate case, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) ruled on Nov. 24 to impose a penalty against Beyaz TV after another pundit, Rasim Ozan Kütahyalı, made sexually explicit comments regarding Bosnians during a live sports show.
Kütahyalı was immediately fired from the station after his remarks.