‘Tatort’ met with protest

Crime series sparks anger in Alevi community

A recent episode of ARD’s long-running hit crime series “Tatort” written and directed by Angelina Maccarone has sparked indignation among members of the Alevi community in Germany for what they say was a demeaning portrayal of their religion.

The episode, which aired Dec. 23, depicted murder and incest in an Alevi family in Germany, triggering protests and a criminal complaint against the pubcaster.

The Alevis are a liberal Muslim community. The “Tatort” episode, “Wem ehre gebuehrt” (Those Who Deserve Honor), was especially hurtful, they said, because the religious group had long suffered such allegations from rival Sunni Muslims during the Ottoman era — which contributed to their repression under the Ottoman Empire. The Alevis share common beliefs and customs with Shia Muslims.

Maccarone maintains she knew nothing about the historical accusations and said subject represented an offense that could transpire in any family.

In writing the script, Maccarone adds, she purposely sought to avoid oft- depicted issues regularly associated with Germany’s Turkish community, such as honor killings of women, which only exacerbate existing prejudices.

It’s not the first time the hugely popular “Tatort” has ruffled feathers.

Last summer an episode centered on cell phone towers causing leukemia, infuriated local network operators when it aired just days before the start of the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin.

But ARD stood by the episode and its own research, saying there was no concrete proof that cellular towers were indeed safe.

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