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Turkey misunderstands its 'Magnificent Century'

Hasan Koz, an ordinary Turkish citizen, filed a court case suing Sultan Kanuni Suleiman for ordering the death of his son Mustafa.
Demonstrators throw eggs and attack billboards advertising the TV series "The Magnificent Century" during a protest near the Show TV headquarters in Istanbul January 9, 2011. A steamy television period drama about a 16th century sultan has angered conservative Muslims in Turkey and sparked a debate over the portrayal of the past in a country rediscovering its Ottoman heritage. "The Magnificent Century" chronicles the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled the Ottoman Empire during its golden age, showi

Ever since it came to power, the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been publicly invoking the country’s Ottoman heritage, with an understanding that the epoch represents the best of times of this nation, particularly when compared with the Republican era. No wonder Hasan Koz, 47, a Turkish citizen living in Bursa, took the popular television series “Magnificent Century” so seriously. The show is about the life and times of the 10th Ottoman sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, also known as Kanuni (the Lawmaker).

In its last episode last week, this television series showed the killing of Mustafa, the sultan’s eldest son, upon his father’s order due to an intense suspicion that he was preparing to rebel against his father to take over the throne.

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