Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Saudi network ban on Turkey TV shows is 'political': minister

Saudi network ban on Turkey TV shows is 'political'
The decision to ban popular Arabic-dubbed Turkish TV shows by MBC - the largest private media network in the Middle East - is a "political move" and "clear censorship", a Turkish minister said.

The Dubai-based, Saudi-owned MBC Group announced through Emirati media on Sunday that the network had received instructions to remove all Turkish programming from all channels until further notice.

"It is not a couple of politicians who are supposed to decide who will watch which movies or shows from their desks," Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus told Al Jazeera, adding he did not believe the move reflects the opinion of the Emirati people, who have "deep relations" with Turkey.

"We are in a time when information technologies are developing fast. Therefore, I believe that these sanctions and censorship will not limit the choices of the audience."

Turkish soap operas have been highly popular in the Middle East and other parts of the world, including in Latin American and Asia-Pacific nations. Turkish officials say the shows are watched in 140 countries around the world.

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