Turkey: Tv-drama and theatre directors arrested in crackdown


“Scores of media figures” were detained in a police raid on 14 December 2014, reported Hurriyet Daily News. Tv-drama producer Salih Asan, director Engin Koç and scriptwriter Makbule Çam Alemdağ were among the detained.

Salih Asan was the producer of a controversial tv-drama called ‘Şefkat Tepe’ (literally translated as ‘Affection Hill’) which depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a beam of light in a scene aired in January 2014. The scene triggered an avalanche of blasphemy allegations in the media and prompted Konya Governor’s Office to cancel a permission to shoot the drama in the Central Anatolian province.

Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkish police have detained 31 people, raiding addresses in 13 provinces across the country.

A list of individuals to be detained in the operation has been issued, and the detentions have been ordered “in order to take their testimonies on charges of founding and directing an armed terror organisation, being a member of this organisation, and engaging in forgery and slander,” a public statement from The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

Unofficial sources say that more people are due to be arrested. On 12 December 2014, a Twitter-user named “Fuat Avni”, whose identity remains unknown, warned about the potential detention of dozens of journalists.

Photo above: Scene from ‘Şefkat Tepe’

UPDATE 15 December 2014

» Hurriyet Daily News – 15 December 2014:
Four released in Turkey’s media operation
“Four people who were detained in a series of police operations against members of the Turkish media, which have stirred reactions both in the country and internationally over freedom of the press, have been released.

Director Naci Çeliksoy and three scriptwriters, Ebru Şenvardar, Elif Yılmaz and Makbule Çam Alemdağ, of the television drama “Tek Türkiye,” which aired on private broadcaster Samanyolu four years ago, were among those detained in the Dec. 14 operations.”

» Hurriyet Daily News – 14 December 2014:
Producer of TV drama that irked Erdoğan among those detained in police raids

» Hurriyet Daily News – 14 December 2014:
Turkish police raid newspaper, detain editor-in-chief, head of broadcaster
Turkish police have launched a media operation to detain 31 people, including media figures and former police chiefs, simultaneously raiding addresses in 13 provinces across the country.

» Hurriyet Daily News – 21 February 2014:
TV series shooting banned over controversial scene depicting the Prophet Muhammad

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