Saudi mufti slams popular Turkish operas

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Dubai, Jul 28 (UNI) Saudi Arabia, where films are a taboo, has now come out against Turkish soap operas which are hugely popular in the Arab world.

The grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, slammed the operas and prohibited people from watching them, the Saudi Al-Watan daily reported.

''It is not permitted to look at these serials or watch them.

They contain so much evil; they destroy people's ethics and are against our values,'' said the mufti during the closing ceremony of a forum, which took place in Riyadh last weekend. He added that these 'malicious' Turkish soap operas corrupt individuals and spread vice in society.

''Any TV station that airs them is against God and His Messenger (peace be upon him). These are serials of immorality. They are prepared by people who are specialists in crime and error, people who invite men and women to the devil,'' he said.

Al-Asheikh was referring to two Turkish soap operas, 'Noor' and 'Lost Years,' which have become extremely popular in the Arab world over the last couple of months.

The soaps are dubbed in colloquial Syrian Arabic and are currently being shown on channels run by the MBC Group. The soaps portraying romance are proving such a big draw in the Kingdom that many people plan their day around the programmes.

''As a result of the soaps, Turkey expects the number of Saudi tourists this year to top 100,000. From 41,000 (tourists) last year to 100,000 this year the same year this soap became phenomenally successful. It's more than just a coincidence,'' said Turkish diplomat Yasin Temizkayn.


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