Netflix has decided not to continue working on its newest Turkish drama, If Only, because of pressure from Turkish authorities. The TV series was on the eve of filming when the government blocked it due to a gay character.
Turkey says no to If Only
Announced earlier this year the eight-part show was ordered to be made by Ece Yörenç as a screenwriter and famous Özge Özpirinçci as a leading actress. However, Netflix has dramatically changed its plans after producers failed to receive a filming permit because of a gay personage. Turkish authorities routinely check television and movie scripts before giving filming licenses.
Not wanting to satisfy Turkish officials’ whims, the well-known streaming platform chose to abandon the series instead of excluding the gay character from the script and changing the story.
While homosexuality has been legal in Turkey for a long period of time, the situation with LGTB+ rights remains complicated and unstable. Civil law doesn’t protect gender identity and sexual orientation and same-sex couples aren’t allowed to marry officially in the country. The Istanbul Pride march has been forbidden for several years in a row too.