Apr 06 2018

Turkish TV “a danger to Egyptian society” – Al Azhar vice president

Turkish and Indian television dramas are a “threat” to Egyptian society, undermine the country’s stability, and contribute to the loss of the Arabic language, Al-Azhar vice president Yousif Amer said during a speech at the venerable university.

Al Azhar, which was set up in Cairo during the Fatimid period in the late 10th century, is widely regarded as the world centre of Islamic learning, and occupies a particularly important place for Sunni Islamic scholarship.

Amer’s statement on the dangers of Turkish televisions came around a month after the popular, Saudi-owned pan-Arab network MBC suddenly cut Turkish programming from its broadcasting.

Turkish dramas have amassed a huge following in Arab countries over the last decade, but with relations souring between Turkey and Arab countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, their popularity became viewed a source of concern.

Turkey’s relations are particularly dire with Egypt, due to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s support for former president Mohamed al-Morsi, and distaste for Abdel Fettah al-Sisi, the sitting President of Egypt who deposed Morsi in a coup in 2013.

Amer’s comments, which came during a speech on the role of translation in disseminating Islamic culture, depicted the Turkish and Indian dramas as “attempts to influence the Arab identity.” The Islamic scholar added that action should be taken to “maintain Arabs’ identity, language, religion, and homeland,” the Egpyt Independent news site reported.