FaithWorld

Turkey fines TV channel for airing blasphemy in Simpsons episode

By Reuters Staff
December 5, 2012

(Characters (from L-R) Lisa, Bart, Homer, Marge and Maggie stand by a cake at the 20th anniversary party for the television series “The Simpsons” at Barker hangar in Santa Monica, California October 18, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni )

Turkey’s broadcasting regulator is fining a television channel for insulting religious values after it aired an episode of “The Simpsons” which shows God taking orders from the devil.

Radio and television watchdog RTUK said it was fining private broadcaster CNBC-e 52,951 lira ($30,000) over the episode of the hit U.S. animated TV series, whose scenes include the devil asking God to make him a coffee.

“The board has decided to fine the channel over these matters,” an RTUK spokeswoman said but declined further comment, saying full details would probably be announced next week.

CNBC-e said it would comment once the fine was officially announced.

Turkey is a secular republic but most of its 75 million people are Muslim. Religious conservatives and secular opponents vie for public influence and critics of the government say it is trying to impose Islamic values by stealth.

Elected a decade ago with the strongest majority seen in years, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party have overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity in Turkey. But concerns are growing about authoritarianism.

Erdogan last week tore into a chart-topping soap opera about the Ottoman Empire’s longest-reigning Sultan and the broadcasting regulator has warned the show’s makers about insulting a historical figure.    By Ece Toksabay

Read the full story by Ece Toksabay here.
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