The Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded an apology Friday from the producers of a controversial TV crime series in Germany for humiliatingly portraying the faith of Turkish citizens, particularly Alevis.
The "ugly implications and accusations deeply upset the entire nation, especially our Alevi citizens, who respect Islam and family traditions, some of the most important common values of our nation," the ministry said in a written statement.
In Germany, home to around 700,000 Alevis, the controversial program "Tatort," aired by the ARD television network on Dec. 23, has become the subject of severe criticism. The offending episode dealt with murder and incest in an Alevi family in Germany. The main reason why the film drew loud protest from the Alevis is that their faith is depicted quite differently from that of the Sunnis.
The criticisms have historic precedent: Under Ottoman rule, Alevis were accused of incest because they included women and children in their religious rituals.
"It is believed that the freedom of faith, expression and broadcasting safeguarded in both the Turkish Constitution and universally should be used to improve intercultural dialogue and tolerance," said the Foreign Ministry in a statement. "The freedom of broadcasting cannot be used as a pretext to ignore this understanding and crush human dignity," it added.
Last week a large group of Alevis in Europe staged a series of demonstrations in a show of protest against the program, a long-running hit TV series in Germany. It is the natural right of Turkish citizens to democratically show their reactions, the Foreign Ministry said.
Source: Turkish Daily News (English)
See also: Germany: Alevis protest incest libel, minister calls for respect of 'religious feelings', Germany: Muslim community protests TV show , Netherlands: Turkey demands, Anti-American Turkish film a hit among Muslims