Deputy president of al-Azhar University Youssef Amer warned of the danger of airing Turkish and Indian soap operas, stating that they might have negative repercussions on Egypt’s culture.
Amer further added that these soap operas can affect the Arabic language; hence, the Arab identity should be preserved through our language and religion.
The statements of Amer came during a seminar held by al-Azhar under the title of “The role of al-Azhar Centre for Translation in spreading the Islamic culture” in a book fair at the Library of Alexandria.
Amer stressed during the seminar that the Centre for Translation’s role is to inform people that religion should not be forced on anyone.
In recent week, the Saudi-owned private broadcaster “MBC group” – one of the largest broadcasters in the Arab world and the Middle East– banned the airing of all Turkish dramas and soap operas. Turkish soap operas have gained wide popularity over the past few years across the Middle East, with millions of Arab viewers for Turkish dramas.
Egyptian TV host Amr Adeeb endorsed the banning decision of all Turkish dramas and soap operas. He further called on all the Egyptian TV channel to follow the footsteps of MBC group and ban the airing of all Turkish series.
“[Turkey] is using [the Arab world], and it makes massive amounts of money from this trade,” Adeeb said.
Bilateral relations between Egypt and Turkey have strained over the past few years after the Egyptian military had ousted former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Turkey described the ouster decision as a “military coup”.