No, nothing to do with the weekly Islamic terror attacks in Europe.
Video games like Call of Duty and Guitar Hero provide entertainment to millions around the world.
But Turkey’s Youth and Sports Ministry says that many popular foreign-made games are responsible for intentionally spreading fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims—or Islamophobia—and desecrating Islamic symbols.
The head of the ministry’s Education, Culture and Research Commission, Huzeyfe Yilmaz, told the Turkish parliament that some 25 million people play videogames for a total of 39 million hours per day in the country, Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday.
But Yilmaz said that many games included “harmful material”—such as explicit sexual content or violence—as well as Islamophobic themes and suggested there should be tougher restrictions on selling them in Turkey.
“The goal [of many games] is to give people a negative perception about Islam. Digital games are used as a tool to spread Islamophobia,” said Yilmaz, according to Hurriyet. “Often the player is put in the role of a soldier and they gain points by killing Muslims, who are shown to them as terrorists. The main goal is creating enmity towards Islam.”
On the government-run website, 19 games are already listed as containing content that is potentially Islamophobic. Several games in the Call of Duty franchise—which have sold over 250 million copies in total, making it one of the most popular franchises of all time—are blacklisted by the ministry.