January 26, 2005: Headlines: COS - Turkey: Speaking Out: Television: Islamic Issues: Crime: Adultery: Arkadaslar listserv: RPCV Charlotte Jirousek writes an open letter to the "West Wing" about their episode about a woman condemned to death in Turkey for adultery

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Turkey: Peace Corps Turkey : The Peace Corps in Turkey: March 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Turkey: Muslim Issues: Steroeotypes: Television: Turkish Press: NBC apologizes to Turkey for West Wing episode : January 26, 2005: Headlines: COS - Turkey: Speaking Out: Television: Islamic Issues: Crime: Adultery: Arkadaslar listserv: RPCV Charlotte Jirousek writes an open letter to the "West Wing" about their episode about a woman condemned to death in Turkey for adultery
RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 404 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts straight about Turkey.


By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.48.182) on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 8:51 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Charlotte Jirousek writes an open letter to the "West Wing" about their episode about a woman condemned to death in Turkey for adultery

RPCV Charlotte Jirousek writes an open letter to the West Wing about their episode about a woman condemned to death in Turkey for adultery

RPCV Charlotte Jirousek writes an open letter to the "West Wing" about their episode about a woman condemned to death in Turkey for adultery

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 23:20:03 -0500
To: TheWestWing@nbc.com
From: Charlotte Jirousek
Subject: Turkey and adultery

To the producers of West Wing:

I am a regular watcher of the West Wing, which has brought a high level of intelligence and wit to television entertainment and the issues of our times. Therefore I was very disappointed and shocked when tonights episode included a thread that referred to Turkey, a story about a woman being condemned to death for adultery. I have been generally impressed by the research and good information that has informed your handling of world affairs. However, this time you have committed slander of a sort I would never have expected of this program. The conservative Turkish prime minister did suggest an adultery bill in September, but within weeks the idea had been abandoned without ever being put before parliament-- if you doubt my information, go to this story.

Furthermore, it was suggested in your story that this woman was to be beheaded. For starters, the death penalty in Turkey was abolished in 2002; again, to confirm this please refer to this story. Not only has the death penalty been abolished, Turkey has executed no condemned prisoners since 1984. Furthermore, Turkey is a constitutional secular democracy that does not base its law on Muslim sheria law, but rather on principles shared with Europe and the United States. This means the death penalty in Turkey has not involved beheadings since some time before the end of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore this story line was not only false, it is slanderous. Turkey is not a fictitious place like Kumar, the country you invented some time ago to be the Muslim terrorist enemy of the US. Your mixing of real events and places with fictional "facts" is likely to be read by your audience as an accurate representation of the character of this real place and people.

Not all Muslims are the same; and not all Muslim countries are the same. I should think your researchers and writers should know this. Turkey has been a secular republic since the 1920s and on the whole has been a reliable friend of the United States during that time, a member of NATO and currently a candidate for admission to the EU. Turkey is not "Kumar."

As a former Peace Corps volunteer who lived and worked in Turkey for five years in the 1960s, I have maintained a life-long association with that country and know that in the current climate Turkey is not well understood and not likely viewed with great sympathy by most Americans. There are plenty of real faults in Turkey's history and current events that would be fair game-- the Turkish struggle toward full democracy has followed a bumpy road over the past eighty years. I am not asking you to refrain from painting Turkey or any other country in an unflattering light; I am just asking you to get your facts right, or if the story line you wish to follow is more important to your script than the truth, then tack a fictitious name on the country in question, as you have done before.

Yours sincerely,,

Charlotte Jirousek

Charlotte Jirousek, Associate Professor and Curator
Cornell University
Department of Textiles and Apparel
208 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4401





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Arkadaslar listserv

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Turkey; Speaking Out; Television; Islamic Issues; Crime; Adultery

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