Skip to main content

Turkish-Saudi animosity spills over into cultural sphere

A new multimillion-dollar series on a Saudi TV channel broadcast across the Middle East depicts Ottomans as tyrants who ravaged the Arab world.

Relations between Ankara and Riyadh — already strained due to a number of factors, including the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi — are set to take another turn for the worse over a television series that launched Nov. 17.

The 15-episode-long “Kingdoms of Fire” ("Mamlakaat Al-Nar"), which began airing on the Saudi-owned, United Arab Emirate-based MBC channel, is a $40 million production that vilifies Ottomans as “tyrannical occupiers who ravaged the Arab world for centuries.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.