Turkish James Bond sparks controversy

No alcohol nor lovers, but able to defeat 200 enemies

06 February, 10:58

    Turkish James Bond sparks controversy Turkish James Bond sparks controversy

    (by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) - ANKARA - The latest of the smashingly successful Turkish soap operas gaining recognition across the entire Mediterranean region, Kizil Elma ('Red Apple'), has given rise to heated debate about its MIT secret services protagonist.

    The Turkish James Bond, Murad Altay, proves his heroism from the very first episode, in which he and a comrade attack 200 enemies along the Turkish-Syrian border. He is recruited by a middle-aged, red-haired woman, the Turkish version of 'M' in the Bond series, who offers him a red '68 Mustang, which detonates after he is given the keys. The soap opera, which made its debut on the state-owned broadcaster TRT, drew heavy criticism for being overly violent and its ultranationalist tones, and the opposition sees it as move to rally more support for PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. MIT director Hakan Fidan works closely with the Turkish premier and is the main who shaped the strong but much-contested Turkish policy on the conflict in neighboring Syria. The Milli Istihbarat Teskilati (MIT) chief has been called the 'second-in-command' by the Wall Street Journal. As the first 'Red Apple' episode was released, government and opposition were at loggerheads over a recent incident along the Syrian border. Gendarme stopped three lorries believed to be carrying weapons, but were not allowed to search them on the orders of the governor, who said that they were carrying only humanitarian aid. The judge who had ordered the operation and the gendarme colonel who carried it out were removed from their positions. The opposition drew the conclusion that the lorries must have been transporting weapons for Syrian jihadists. The first criticism of the soap opera, however, came from Alevis, a minority group linked to the Shia religion that has suffered throughout the ages massacres and discrimination at the hands of the Sunni majority. The Alevi Foudnation has accused the TV show of offending the religious sentiments of Alevis and of a ''racist and ultranationalist'' vision. Criticism has also come from the Islamist newspaper Yenisafak, which believes that the series underscores not the strength but the ''vulnerability and ineffectiveness'' of Turkish secret services, glorifying violence. The Islamists also feel that the Turkish James Bond is not Islamic enough, even though unlike his British counterpart he does not drink alcohol and does not always end up in bed with beautiful women.


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