Lebanon bans ‘Fetih 1453’ from theaters

BEIRUT: Turkish director Faruk Aksoy’s “Fetih 1453” has been banned from Lebanon’s theaters because it is offensive to Orthodox Christians.

“Fetih 1453” tells the story of Mehmet II, who ascends to the Ottoman throne after the deaths of his father Murat II and brother Osman Erciyes. More powerful than ever, he inherits the throne with the conquest of Constantinople as his main priority.

With a phenomenal budget estimated at $18 million, Aksoy’s film was well-received in Turkey, but Greece accused it of obscuring key facts.

That same negative perspective has been felt by the Orthodox community in Lebanon, where a sit-in was held on Sept. 29 in Sassine Square to denounce the film’s “offense to Christian civilization” – a reaction which calls to mind recent protests in the Muslim world due to the anti-Islam film.

Local media said the film was banned over its falsification of dates and insults to Christianity. A few days ago, Rodrigue Khoury, a member of the “Al-Machreq” party, said on a local television channel that “the message behind the movie is to bring conflict between cultures.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 08, 2012, on page 16.




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