Duvar English

The Turkish drama producer Ay Yapım has commented on the recent allegations of an investigation having been launched into their new TV series named “Babil,” saying they have not so far been notified by the authorities regarding the existence of such an investigation.

“From time to time, some claims are made about new [TV] projects. We file a lawsuit [against these allegations] during this process,” Ay Yapım’s lawyer was quoted as saying by daily Cumhuriyet on Jan. 21.

The lawyer’s comments came over allegations that authorities launched an investigation into “Babil” which details the life a sacked economics professor. The academic is denied access to his bank accounts and is barred from leaving the country. Unable to find a job in the country, the character named “İrfan” – played by famous actor Halit Ergenç – is trying to go to the U.S. illegally in an attempt to save his sick 7-year-old child.

Following its first episode on Jan. 17, the new series became a hot topic on social media, with several users suggesting that the hardships that the main character faces are parallel to those experienced by Turkey’s sacked civil servants, who were dismissed from their positions by statutory decrees (KHKs) during a two-year state of emergency following the July 2016 coup attempt.

Under these government decrees, thousands of civil servants were sacked from public institutions over alleged links to “terror groups.” Those sacked also included a group of academic personnel who signed a peace petition in 2016 criticizing the government’s actions in southeastern Turkey.

Various Turkish media outlets later suggested that authorities launched an investigation into “Babil” for allegedly making propaganda on behalf of the Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities refer to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

Ay Yapım’s lawyer said on Jan. 21 that the show is about “an academic who is alleged to have received bribes.” “It is not correct to divert the show into some place else,” the lawyer said.