Netflix Cancels Turkish Drama 'If Only' Over Gay Character Row

Screenwriter Ece Yorenc speaks about the streaming platform's decision.

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Screenwriter Ece Yorenc speaks about Netflix's decision.

Netflix has cancelled a Turkish drama, If Only, on the eve of its filming, with the writer claiming that the step was taken because the government blocked the show as it had a gay character. Screenwriter Ece Yorenc said that Netflix decided against filming the show after the government refused to grant a licence, as per a report by Financial Times.

The publication quoted Ece as saying that permission to film the series was denied because of the presence of a gay character and this move is frightening for the future.

The streaming platform confirmed the story's details. If Only was set to recount the story of Reyhan, a mother of twins stuck in an unhappy marriage. She suddenly gets reminded of a night 30 years back when her husband proposed. Yorenc said there were no gay sex scenes in the series.

Mahir Unal, the deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling party, took to Twitter to say that he believed Netflix will show "greater sensitivity to Turkish culture and art with deeper co-operation" in future.

Despite homosexuality being legal in modern Turkey's history, there has been growing opposition towards the LGBTQ community in the recent past.

In a statement, Netflix said it is "deeply committed" to the Turkish subscribers. ""We currently have several Turkish originals in production - with more to come - and look forward to sharing these stories with our members all around the world", the statement added.

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