The Turkish Cabinet has authorized the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) to limit the length of lovemaking scenes in Turkish TV series, daily Hürriyet.
The Cabinet made the decision after approving RTÜK’s decision to fine a Turkish channel for airing a lovemaking scene between the leading characters of the soap opera Aşk-ı Memnu (Forbidden Love) that lasted five minutes and 30 seconds.
RTÜK fined the channel for the “hot” lovemaking scenes, describing them as “too long and immoral” and accusing them of failing to comply with the structure of the Turkish family.
“Aşk-ı Memnu” was adapted from the book of the same name by Turkish novelist Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil and featured actors Kivanç Tatlıtuğ(Behlül) and Beren Saat (Bihter) in the lead roles.
The show features the chain of events revolving around Adnan Bey (Selçuk Yöntem) and his family. Adnan Bey lives with his daughter and his deceased friend’s son Behlül (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ), but their lives change when Firdevs Hanım and her daughters Peyker and Bither cross their path. Adnan Bey falls in love with Bihter and they get married, but their happiness is destroyed with the appearance of Behlül, who begins a forbidden affair with Bihter. The story ends with Bihter’s tragic suicide after her affair with Behlül is revealed.
RTUK picks and chooses among FCC (US) rules in regulating obscenity. FCC does not allow long lovemaking scenes on TV (airwaves), but allows more things for the Cable. RTUK generally picks the highest restriction FCC applies to Cable or TV programming. As far as the obscenity is concerned, Turkish TV and Cable look like the TV in US. However, the problem with RTUK is that it also regulates the paid Cable channels. Even if you want to pay for more relaxed programming, you are not allowed.