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Turkish Soap Operas Taken Off Air In Uzbekistan

Turkish soap operas are very popular across Uzbekistan
Three Uzbek state-owned television channels have removed Turkish soap operas from their airwaves because of material deemed "inappropriate" by the authorities.

RFE/RL's Uzbek Service quoted unnamed sources close to Uzbekistan's national television company as saying the broadcasts of the melodramas were halted because of the "rebellious nature" of some of the fictional characters.

The source also said they were taken off the air because of "some inappropriate scenes, which are not compatible with the Uzbek people's mentality."

The television channels -- Yoshlar (Youth), NTT, and TV Markaz -- abruptly removed the Turkish soap operas from the airwaves this week without prior warning.

In a similar move in 2000, Uzbekistan's state-run television channels stopped airing some Turkish television series -- but the foreign soap operas eventually returned to the airwaves of the Central Asian nation.

Turkish soap operas are wildly popular across Central Asia and the Middle East.

Media and the Internet in Uzbekistan are under heavy state control.