Netflix has cancelled the filming of a Turkish series ‘If only’ following a row for including a gay character. Anika Khan Reports.
Screenwriter Ece Yorenc said that the Turkish government has blocked the filming of the show for including a gay character in the story.
In an interview, Ece said: “Due to a gay character, permission to film the series was not granted and this is very frightening for the future”. She further explains that the show wouldn’t have dwelt with any gay scenes or physical contacts between the gay characters.
The story of ‘If only’ revolved around the life of a mother Reyhan who was thriving to make her marriage work. She was given a second chance in life when she teleported back 30 years to the night when her husband proposed. The show would have been an eight-part relationship drama.
However, the production of the show is stopped as the Turkish government refused to give a license, over the representation of the character Osman, written as a homosexual. A representative from the Turkish ruling party came to twitter and expressed his opinion that Netflix should respect the sensitivity of Turkish culture and art in the future.
Although homosexuality has been legalized in modern Turkey, opposition from the officials against the LBGT community has grown in recent years. For five years in a row now, the officials have successfully banned the Istanbul Pride March and hope to continue doing so.
Netflix took a diplomatic approach to this issue and said: “Netflix remains deeply committed to our Turkish members and the creative community in Turkey. We currently have several Turkish originals in production — with more to come — and look forward to sharing these stories with our members all around the world.”
When the world is moving towards the creation of art and films representing the truer picture of life, it is a huge step back for filmmakers when they are restricted by regulations to create.