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September 14, 2014 2:38 pm

Turkish Gov’t Fines Kurdish TV for Airing Holocaust Film ‘The Pianist’

avatar by Dave Bender

The Pianist. Poster: Wikipedia

The Pianist. Poster: Wikipedia

Turkey’s chief television and radio authority has fined a Kurdish channel for airing the Academy Award-winning film, The Pianist, the local Hürriyet daily said Sunday.

The 2002 drama, directed by Roman Polanski, is based on an autobiographical Holocaust-era memoir of the same name, by Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) said in their decision fining Gün TV that the film, which recounts the author’s survival, despite internment in a concentration camp, is “too brutal.”

Opposition CHP party representative, Ali Öztunc, termed RTÜK’s decision as “ridiculous,” in an interview with Hürriyet.

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“The world is going to laugh at, or make fun of RTÜK for this ruling, just as we became a laughingstock over the Rihanna-Shakira clip,” he charged.

Oztunc was referring a previous controversial RTÜK ruling, in which the broadcasting watchdog fined two Turkish TV channels for airing a music video by Rihanna and Shakira which the Turkish media watchdog deemed too provocative for local consumption.

Öztunc said the world has barely forgotten that controversy, and now RTÜK has done it again, banning a film which the world has seen and admired.

In recent years the climate in Turkey has become increasingly threatening for the country’s Jewish population. Various violent attacks on individuals have been reported and vicious anti-Israel rhetoric is widespread.

During Protective Edge, Erdoğan compared Israeli actions to Hitler, and violent protests threatened the Israeli embassy and consulate. Last month a Jewish couple was found stabbed to death in their apartment in Istanbul.

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