Way back in the year 2000, shortly after Pokémon had arrived in Turkey, a couple of particularly odd incidents occurred resulting in public outrage over the perceived evils the pocket franchise posed.
There were two cases of children jumping out of windows, apparently as a direct result from believing in the world of Pokémon with dangerous certainty.
The Evils Of Flying-Type Pokémon
Everyone who played the games as a child (or even now) has wished that Pokémon were real. I sure did, and I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a glimmer of hope that I'd be starting my Pokémon journey when I turned ten years-old.
Professor Oak would swing by and ask what starter I wanted, I'd give in to my secret love of Bulbasaur and we'd start on the road to becoming the very best, like no one ever was.
Take a look at 20 years through the Pokémon games:
I feel my parents weren't too worried about the dangers of this grass-type dream while I threw leaves at animals and carried seeds in my pocket, but the kids that chose different types may have had a few dangers to look out for.
For two Turkish children back in 2000, they had seemingly set their minds on flying-type Pocket Monsters. Soaring as high and free as a majestic Moltres is certainly an enticing fantasy, but the children bought into the dream a little too literally.
Turkish seven-year-old Seda Aykanat stepped from a balcony five stories high believing that she possessed the same ability as the flying Pokémon she had undoubtedly seen on TV. Luckily, she only broke her leg after the fall, but it was still a shocking incident that would have put some pressure on the acceptance of Pokémon in the country.
Unfortunately, only two weeks passed before a second similar accident occurred when Ferhat Altinbas, who was four at the time, jumped off a seventh-floor balcony thinking he was a Pokémon. Like the other case, the child somehow got away with only a broken leg.
Gotta Ban 'em All
After these events the Pokémon anime was taken of air and (along with the television network that broadcast it) was given a temporary ban, making the Turkish government the very first to do so.
Officials involved with the decision to ban the popular series stated that Pokémon has trouble making "distinction between good and evil". A lot of the pro-ban arguments were based around sending a better message to children through TV, with these incidents serving as a spark for a larger argument in terms of the government's control of media.
Perhaps it was Ash's Pidgeotto/Pidgeot that had an unwanted effect on the youth of Turkey, being one of the most prominent flying-types in the original anime. The four-year-old told doctors "I am a Pokémon and I flew like one", so he must have been majorly influenced by some bird Pokémon.
Pokémon eventually brightened up children's TVs once more some years later and hasn't looked to have any major problems since. The XY series begun airing in late 2014, though Sun & Moon has yet to surface.
However, it's not like Turkey is all done and dusted with Pokémon troubles. Since the emergence of Pokémon GO some have been asking for it to be banned, as it places some PokéStops and Gyms at religious sites like Mosques in the Islamic country.
Pokémon GO has received its fair share of bans:
- Disneyland Cast Members Forbidden From Playing 'Pokemon GO', Trolled By Company Sign
- Iran Upsets Trainers' Dreams, Completely Bans 'Pokémon GO'
- Gotta Ban 'Em All: The 5 Places 'Pokémon GO' Has Been Banned From
What do you think of these Pokémon bans or in general? Comment below!
[Credit: The Pokémon Company, Washington Post]