A major Middle Eastern satellite network has stopped airing Turkish soap operas, the latest entertainment casualties in the region’s volatile politics.
The Dubai-based MBC Group stopped broadcasting its popular Arabic-dubbed Turkish soap operas on March 1, a decision that came just after its chairman, Waleed al-Ibrahim was released from being held in a mass arrest by Saudi authorities.
The National English newspaper in Abu Dhabi, first reported MBC’s decision in its Monday edition.
The network declined to discuss who made the decision, but relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are at a low. Turkey backed Qatar as Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries imposed a blockade on Qatar.
“There is a decision to remove all Turkish drama off several TV outlets in the region,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek told The Associated Press on Monday. “I can’t confirm who took the decision.”
Hayek declined to say whether the decision came from inside MBC’s management or outside of the broadcaster.
Turkish officials made no immediate comment on MBC’s decision.
— deborah amos (@deborahamos) March 4, 2018