Arab broadcaster MBC Group, a Saudi Arabian company, has removed all Turkish dramas from its vast network of channels, a spokesman confirmed on Monday.
“The Dubai-based broadcaster’s decision covers multiple media platforms and TV channels across a number of Arab countries,’’ spokesman Mazen Hayek told newsmen.
Among them is MBC Masr, an entertainment channel in Egypt, by far the Arab world’s most populous nation.
“The decision came into effect on March 2,’’ Hayek said, without clarifying the reasons behind the move.
MBC is seen as the largest entertainment-focused media network in the Arab-speaking world.
Turkish dramas have been gaining a foothold in the Arab world for over a decade.
However, in recent months tensions between Gulf Arab nations and Ankara have grown, in part over Turkish backing of Islamist groups and its support for Qatar.
In 2017, a Saudi-led alliance of several nations broke ties with Doha and launched a boycott on the country, saying it was linked to extremist groups and was cooperating with Iran.
Several Turkish dramas recently have turned to focus on Ottoman-era events.
The history of the Ottoman Empire’s legacy in the Arab world is fraught, with some viewing it as colonialism.
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