Turkey moves to censor ‘no’ word from public domain

A poster of Pablo Larrain's 2012 film 'No', starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

Incidences of the censoring of the word ‘no’, in the run-up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum are on the rise, as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) tries to strengthen the ‘yes’ camp, according to reports.

In a latest incident, the Oscar nominated film, ‘No’, directed by Pablo Larrain and telling the story of an advertising campaign against the re-election of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1988 election, has been removed from Turkey’s largest satellite provider Digiturk.

According to reports the 2012 film was removed on Thursday by the Qatari-owned company after its viewing numbers went up due to the relevant subject matter of the film. The company confirmed they had removed the film but did not give a reason.

In a separate incident in the central Anatolian city Konya, the local municipality removed ‘say no’ brochures published to encourage people to quit smoking.

AKP Konya deputy Abdullah Agrali said the brochures had been removed by his party’s municipality “to prevent any misunderstanding,” Demokrat Haber reported.

A national advertising campaign for wholesale company, Metro Market, was pulled from TV and re-edited in early February because it used the words, “no, it’s not possible,” claimed Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Baris Yarkadas.

The constitutional reform proposing an 18-article change will see executive power transferred to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in what he calls a ‘presidential system’.

Parties opposed to the change have complained of suppression of the ‘no’ camp.

An interview with Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk was censored by Hurriyet daily recently after he declared he would vote against the change. Several high profile journalists have been dismissed for their jobs for support of the ‘no’ campaign.