Turkey’s TV watchdog fines talent show for “Allah the father” reference

Turkey’s television watchdog has fined a TV channel 1 million lira ($266,000) for airing a song that included a reference to Allah as a father, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

The High Council of Radio and Television, whose decision-making board consists of political appointees, objected to a line in a comedic song performed at talent competition “You’ve Got Talent” on the basis that the concept of a divine father contradicted the teachings of Islam.

The song, borrowed from a 1971 Turkish musical film, said girls should “thank Allah their father for all the fellows who would rain from the sky”.

This, the council said, was “contrary to the national and spiritual values of society”, an echoing of the phrasing of Turkey’s religious hate crime law, which outlaws “the insulting of religious values adopted by a portion of the populace” where that constitutes a threat to the peace.

The decision stated that Allah as a father figure was not in the Quran, but was a part of religions such as Judaism and Christianity, and this was “making light” of the Muslim faith in violation of the broadcasting code.

It was inappropriate to say Allah the father, “in contradiction to the unity of God, which is one of the fundamental beliefs in the Holy Quran, in our majority-Muslim country”, the verdict read, adding that the attitude towards sexual relations was also in violation of the Quran’s teachings.