Muhte?em Y

Magnificent Century divides Turkish TV viewers over the life of Suleiman

Smash-hit soap opera based on Ottoman empire's most revered leader, Suleiman the Magnificent, provokes 70,000 complaints

For the show's producers, it is nothing less than a magnificent controversy. Muhtesem Yuzyil, or Magnificent Century, a lavish primetime soap opera about Suleiman the Magnificent and Hurrem, the slave who became his powerful wife, is as admired in Istanbul as it is reviled.

Suleiman ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 at the height of its glory and is still revered as Kanuni, or Lawgiver. This has led to the series attracting a wave of protests from irate viewers and even government officials. Critics said it was disrespectful to the sultan because it showed him drinking alcohol

What do you make of this controversy of showing the Ottomans as unpious, giving a negative light on one of the most revered of the ottomans?

Do you consider it historically accurate or just a cheap cash-in a la "The Tudors"?

I think the people complaining about it wanted a historical re-enactment while those enjoying it enjoy it for the drama and viewing it from the orientalist fantasy that was sometimes historically portrayed in far away places. From the linked to article:

... the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who leads Turkey's Islamist-rooted government, weighed in, calling the programme disrespectful and "an effort to show our history in a negative light to the younger generations" ...

I would love to see some historical re enactment, but til then, this may be something to watch.

Episode 1 with english subtitles:


(ive only seen a few minutes and the production values seem high enough.)

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Hello, bit of a late answer but I just noticed this here.

First off I don't believe it was the Prime Minister Erdogan who criticised it but rather it was Bulent Arinc, although not as high as the PM himself he does hold a top position.

There was never really a movement on banning the show or whatever. There's going to be controversy on basically any show, depending on what the show is about and who's sensitive about the contents. If there is a more relatively conservative show going on then it's going to be criticised by those who do not share their views, and vice versa as can be seen with this show. For the record almost all the Sultans drank alcohol and almost all of them were into women a lot.

Muhtesem Yuzyil on the other hand is, in a very surprising and yet pleasant sense, objective. I was very surprised from the get go of the whole series. It portrays most of the things that are documented in the historic archives (Turkish historic archives are accessible by anyone, unlike some other countries who would rather hide their history and insist on getting the world to accept lies Wink )

Ahem... anyhow the show leans more towards being historically accurate, although some of the elements may be exagerrated just for the sake of giving off that emotion to the viewer and how tense some things may be. And that should be no surprise as the show has loads of historians as advisors, most of the historians being those who relieved themselves from taking any sides on anything. Yes of course there are a few details that have some inaccuracies (such as the curtains being folded when closed, whereas that is apparently a 17th century thing, and that the curtains were always just closed all the way until then) but honestly 99% of the viewers will never be able to spot those sorts of things by themselves.

The only thing I noticed so far is that the show hasn't really delved into the more romantic side of Kanuni. Although a lawmaker he was a VERY romantic man, he is known for his poems especially. It's said that he would even set aside coming up with strategies in times of war and write poems. I'm sure we'll get to see more of those in the next episodes though, perhaps he wasn't really focused too much on that yet. On a positive note it portrays really well how it's actually the women that ruled the Ottoman Empire and that the men were only in the spotlight, especially the massive influence that the Valide Sultan (Sultana) has upon everyone. That is really accurate.

I just wish the episodes were translated in a much quicker fashion. It really is a good show so far in my opinion that I would like those who wish to watch it, to actually get to watch it as soon as possible.