Famous writer Ahmet Ümit's book to be sold in envelopes in Turkey for including 'obscene' themes
Turkey’s Family Ministry has ruled that famous writer Ahmet Ümit's 2007-dated novel (“Başkomser Nevzat Tapınak Fahişeleri” in Turkish) allegedly includes “obscene” themes and is not appropriate to be sold those under the age of 18. The ministry also found Jeanette Winterson's novel Sexing the Cherry "obscene." Accordingly, both books will be sold in sealed envelopes.
The Family and Social Services Ministry has ruled that author Ahmet Ümit's novel “Başkomser Nevzat Tapınak Fahişeleri” is “not appropriate to be sold to those under 18,” according to reporting of Senem Büyüktanır from Medyascope.
The Board for the Protection of Minors from Obscene Publications of the ministry ruled that the book will not be displayed on the shelves of bookstores and will be sold in sealed envelopes. The front cover of the book will also be stamped "harmful to minors" in a large enough size for everyone to read easily.
The decision was taken as a result of the investigation opened by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on the grounds that the book “has some expressions, depictions, and visuals to have a mischievous and obscene impact on the spirituality and development of persons under the age of 18.”
Ümit’s 2007-dated novel is a crime thriller set in Istanbul.
On the other hand, the same board also found Jeanette Winterson's novel Sexing the Cherry ("Vişnenin Cinsiyeti" in Turkish) "obscene," and ruled that it will be sold in sealed envelopes.
Ayşe Tümerkan, the founder of Frankeştayn Publishing, announced the move on Twitter on March 17.
Sansürün her türlüsüne karşıyız. Jeanette Winterson’un kitabı Vişnenin Cinsiyeti muzır neşriyat sayılmış ve “poşete girmesi” kararlaştırılmış! pic.twitter.com/eWKd5MneyQ— Ayse Tumerkan (@aysetumerkan) March 17, 2023
According to the relevant regulation, the Board for the Protection of Minors from Obscene Publications under the Family Ministry can censor books and other publications that are perceived as “not appropriate for children.” In the past, the board censored international best sellers such as “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” and “Heartstopper” due to their themes based on feminist and LGBTI+ perspectives.