New Turkish series ‘Babil’ under investigation for terrorism propaganda


(Updates with changes to lead and series’ plot)

Turkish authorities have launched an investigation into a new drama series detailing the life of a sacked university professor looking to start a new life in the United States for allegedly conducting terrorism propaganda, Turkish daily Birgün reported.

“Babil,” which debuted on Turkish television on Friday, centres on the life of a professor who after being dismissed from his job, barred access to his bank accounts and banned from leaving the country, tries to enter the United States illegally.

The series is an apparent nod to civil servants dismissed from their jobs by presidential decrees issued in the two-years of emergency rule following Turkey’s failed coup attempt of 2016.

The Turkish government maintains the failed coup attempt of July 16, 2016 was orchestrated by the Gülen movement and has sacked or suspended 150,000 public employees, while arresting more than 77,000 people over ties to the group since.

Most of Turkey’s sacked public employees are accused by the government of links to the Islamist group that has been designated a terrorist organisation, but many belonged to other opposition groups.

“Babil” features veteran Turkish actor Halit Ergenç as an economics professor, whose life is ruined by a series of events that parallel those of Turkey’s sacked civil servants.

Many of Turkey’s dismissed civil servants have not faced any official charges, but the decrees against them remain on their official records, leaving them ostracised and often unable to find work in the private sector, or receive public benefits.



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