Turkey’s PM slams popular TV series for tarnishing Ottoman history


A historical Turkish TV series has distorted Ottoman history, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reported as saying by a news agency on Monday.

“The Magnificent Century” chronicles the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled the Ottoman Empire in its golden age, has gained popularity in the Arab World, but according to Erdogan, the series has tarnished the image of the 16th century longest-reigning Ottoman emperor, Sultan Suleiman, Anadolu Agency reported Erdogan saying.

“These are not our ancestors who have been portrayed in this TV series,” he said during the inauguration of an airport in Kutahya Province, 190 miles west of the capital Ankara.

In the TV series, scenes which have particularly offended show a young and lusty sultan cavorting in the harem and drinking goblets of wine. These pursuits were frowned upon by the Muslim faithful for whom the sultan had religious as well as temporal authority.

“We live in a seven-billion-people strong world and we know our role. We go to every place that our ancestors reached on their horsebacks, and we care about these regions,” he added.

During the emperor’s reign, the Ottoman Empire reached its zenith, he said. “He spent 30 years of his life on the horseback, fighting wars and conquering cities.”

The prime minister said he is pursuing a legal case against the TV directors of the Turkish drama.

Known as the “Lawgiver” among Turks, Suleiman is regarded as a sacred character, whose rule from 1520 to 1566 marked the height of the Ottoman military, political and economic power, when it stretched from Budapest to Mecca, Algiers to Baghdad.