Netflix branded Islam’s enemy for gay character in Turkish TV show

Some Turks have targeted Netflix over its new Turkish drama Love 101 after unconfirmed rumours of a gay character in the series, and branded the streaming giant an enemy of Islam, LGBTI-focused news site Pink News said.

"Online, posts have racked up thousands of likes accusing Netflix of 'trying to normalise immorality', branding the streaming giant 'Islam’s enemy' for airing the show during Ramadan," Pink News said.

Thousands of Turks took to Twitter, using the hashtag #NetflixBeAMan, to condemn the gay character in the TV series set to air when Ramadan begins on April 24. Some said the date was deliberately chosen to provoke Muslims during Ramadan. 

The series also drew sharp criticism from the Turkish broadcast regulator.

“We will not tolerate broadcasts that are contrary to the national and spiritual values of our society,” Ebubekir Şahin, president of the Radio and Television Supreme Council, said on Tuesday.

Turkey's LGBTI community has long been subjected to harassment and discrimination. 

In 2019 the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (IGLA) said that Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia were the worst ranked countries in Europe for LGBTI rights. 

Turkish officials have described homosexuality as a disease, and have rejected proposals for legal protections for LBGTI citizens. Prominent government officials frequently make homophobic comments.