Turkish pro-government media outlets are accusing Netflix’s Taiwanese crime drama serial Shards of Her of making terrorist propaganda over the appearance of a book by Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, reported Duvar News.
A copy of the Chinese translation of Seher (Dawn), a collection of literary stories written by the jailed former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), made several brief appearances in the Taiwanese crime serial.
The name of the serial’s main character, Lin Chen Hsi, means “dawn” in Chinese. The male lead introduces Demirtaş’s collection to her, saying, “This book is also called ‘Dawn'”.
The book is shown in several scenes in the serial, which is categorised under the genres of crime, mystery and thriller.
Following the appearance of the book, the pro-government Turkish media targeted the serial with accusations of terrorist propaganda.
The media outlet Takvim condemned the serial and described Netflix as “promoting the use of drugs and instilling LGBT perversion in youth”.
Another Turkish state media outlet, A Haber, also criticised the serial and accused Netflix of making “terrorist propaganda”, additionally describing the popular streaming service as engaging in “gender neutralisation of young people, Islamophobic broadcasts and anarchy”.
Netflix has frequently come under fire from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and pro-government press circles over its LGBT and other content deemed unacceptable by the Islamist-rooted ruling party.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called Netflix “immoral”, and in 2021 the state censorship body fined the streaming service and ordered the removal of the Spanish film “More the Merrier” over sexual content.
Demirtaş’s charismatic co-leadership of the HDP made him a major player in Turkish politics until his arrest in 2016. The former HDP co-chair has been jailed on numerous charges including incitement to riot and cooperation with a terrorist organisation.
Many observers, including the Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights, have expressed concerns about the political nature of Demirtaş’s imprisonment and demanded his release.