Netflix cancels Turkish show if only online about gay character

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Ece Yorenc is one of Turkey’s most successful screenwriters


Netflix canceled a Turkish drama on the eve of filming, its writer claiming the government blocked it because it included a gay character.

Screenwriter Ece Yorenc said Netflix dropped If Only after the government refused to license it.

“Due to a gay character permission to film the series has not been granted and it is very scary for the future,” she told Turkish film website Altyazi Fasikul, according to the FT.

Netflix has confirmed the details of the story.

If Only were to tell the story of Reyhan, an unhappily married mother of twins, who is suddenly brought back 30 years on the night proposed by her husband.

Yorenc said there were no gay sex scenes or physical contact between the gay man and other characters.

The streaming service did not want to comply with Ankara’s demands and instead decided to cancel the show after discussions with Turkish broadcasting authority RTUK, she added.

The vice-chairman of the ruling party in Turkey, Mahir Unal, tweeted on Monday that he believed Netflix would “show greater sensitivity to Turkish culture and art with deeper cooperation” at the to come up.

While homosexuality has been legal throughout modern Turkish history, official opposition to the LGBT community has grown in recent years. The Istanbul Pride March has been banned for five consecutive years.

Netflix said it remains “deeply committed” to its Turkish subscribers and those in the country’s creative community.

In a statement, the company said: “We currently have several Turkish originals in production – with more to come – and we look forward to sharing these stories with our members around the world.”

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