Turkey’s media watchdog issues fine over Rihanna lyrics
Turkey’s top media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), reviewed the English-language lyrics of pop songs, including Rihanna’s, and issued hefty fines after concluding that they were inappropriate, daily Hürriyet columnist Cengiz Semercioğlu reported on June 7.
“RTÜK issued a 17,065 Turkish Lira fine to the music channels NR1 and Dream TV due to the lyrics of ‘Wild Thoughts’ and the same amount of fine to Power TV due to the lyrics of ‘Sex, Love and Water,’” Semercioğlu wrote.
“Wild Thoughts” is a DJ Khaled song featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, while “Sex, Love and Water” is a song by Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren featuring Conrad Sewell.
“Turkish music channels have been censoring foreign music videos for a long time now. For example, they routinely remove sexy dance scenes [to avoid hefty RTÜK fines]. This is the first time that RTÜK issued a fine over the English lyrics of a song,” the columnist noted, adding that “channels will not able to find even a single song to play if Turkish authorities started to review English lyrics, too.”
RTÜK did not specify which part of the lyrics it found inappropriate for children and the youth in the two songs.
Rihanna’s song starts with the lyrics, “I don’t know if you could take it / Know you wanna see me nakey, nakey, naked / I wanna be your baby, baby, baby,” while Armin Van Buuren song’s chorus goes “Sex, love, and water / Just do the things you want and make love all night.”