The Simpsons has been airing in Turkey for almost 10 years.
(Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
Turkey's broadcasting regulator is fining a television
channel for insulting religious values after it aired an
episode of "The Simpsons" which shows God taking orders from
Radio and television watchdog RTUK said it was fining private
broadcaster CNBC-e 52,951 lira ($US30,000) over the episode
of the hit US animated TV series, whose scenes include the
devil asking God to make him a coffee.
"The board has decided to fine the channel over these
matters," an RTUK spokeswoman said but declined further
comment, saying full details would probably be announced next
CNBC-e said it would comment once the fine was officially
Turkey is a secular republic but most of its 75 million
people are Muslim. Religious conservatives and secular
opponents vie for public influence and critics of the
government say it is trying to impose Islamic values by
Elected a decade ago with the strongest majority seen in
years, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted
AK Party have overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity
in Turkey. But concerns are growing about authoritarianism.
Erdogan last week tore into a chart-topping soap opera about
the Ottoman Empire's longest-reigning Sultan and the
broadcasting regulator has warned the show's makers about
insulting a historical figure.
"The Simpsons" first aired in 1989 and is the longest-running
US sitcom. It is broadcast in more than 100 countries and
CNBC-e has been airing it in Turkey for almost a decade.
"I wonder what the script writers will do when they hear that
the jokes on their show are taken seriously and trigger fines
in a country called Turkey," wrote Mehmet Yilmaz, a columnist
for the Hurriyet newspaper.
"Maybe they will add an almond-moustached RTUK expert to the
series," he said, evoking a popular Turkish stereotype of a
pious government supporter.