ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish state media watchdog fined two music channels this week over what it deemed explicit content in the lyrics of the song “Wild Thoughts” by American musician DJ Khaled and Barbadian singer Rihanna and another song “Sex, Love & Water” by the Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren.
NR1 and Dream TV, two prominent English language music broadcasters in the country, received a fine of 17,065 Turkish Liras (3,815 USD) from the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK).
It is not uncommon for authorities in Turkey to censor and ban music on the grounds of “terrorist propaganda” usually when it comes to Kurdish songs.
However, RTUK, for the first time in its history, punished media for words most of the Turkish-speaking population does not understand, the major daily Hurriyet reported.
And, this was not the first time Rihanna’s art landed a Turkish media outlet in trouble.
In 2014, the government-controlled watchdog fined entertainment channel Show TV to pay one percent of its monthly advertisement income for airing the clip of the song “Can’t Remember to Forget You” in which Rihanna is seen dancing with Shakira because its content was “promoting” homosexuality.
Last week, police arrested a Turkish rapper known as Ezhel for lyrics in his songs that “promoted drug use.”
Prosecutors were asking for up to 10 years for the artist whose real name is Omer Sercan Ipekcioglu as the Prime Ministry was receiving complaints to remove his videos from YouTube, the state agency wrote.
Earlier this year, an opposition lawmaker revealed that the public-funded Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) had 208 songs, 142 of them in Turkish, and 66 in Kurdish by various singers blacklisted.
Turkish rapper Ezhel is seen in this video singing the Kurdish song “Dem Dem.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany