Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party demands scrutiny on ‘subliminal messages’

Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has called for increased scrutiny on what it called subliminal messages in digital platforms in a new parliamentary bill, left-wing Birgün daily reported on Friday.

The MHP said in its bill that Turks have been falling victim to symbols and messages hidden in everyday objects, such as the Christian cross printed on Muslim prayer mats. The party did not reveal who was responsible for the alleged subliminal messages.

The new bill, which aims to “protect children and adolescents from subliminal messages”, proposes banning online platforms that contain such messages and penalising those that publish them.

“The messages given by digital platforms are sometimes explicit, but most of the time, in the majority of cases, they are given secretly and to directly affect the subconsciousness in ways and methods that cannot be detected by people who are not experts,” the draft bill said.

According to MHP lawmakers Esin Kara and Mustafa Hidayet Vahapoğlu, who drafted the bill, those subliminal messages aimed at turning some groups into people hostile to national and religious values.

“We are coming across such subliminal messages, that are prepared consciously and hidden, in every aspect of our lives,” the draft bill said. “Those messages are sometimes a cross on the prayer rug of a Muslim, who is made to pray it, sometimes it is a figure that criticises the conquest of Istanbul or the siege of Vienna, or sometimes Allah’s words and those of our prophet are secretly printed on our shoes or rugs using calligraphic tricks,” it said.