A 10-episode HBO miniseries about World War II will air in Turkey minus a scene featuring dialogue about “Turks torch Smyrna” after recapturing the Aegean city from the Greek Army during the war of independence.
“The Pacific,” a co-production by Hollywood director, Steven Speilberg and Oscar winning actor, Tom Hanks, which focuses on the U.S.-Japanese conflict during World War II, started airing April 18 in Turkey without the deleted scene, the hybrid business/financial and entertainment channel CNBC-e has announced.
According to a statement on the CNBC-e Web site, the controversial scene occurs in the third episode of the series and features a Greek woman from Smyrna, whose family moved to Australia after the Asia Minor catastrophe, talking to an American soldier, telling him the Turks “invaded and torched Smyrna” in 1922.
CBNC-e deleted the scene and notified HBO of its decision. According to CBNC-e Smyrna was not a Greek city at the time but an Ottoman one, occupied by Greek soldiers.
The matter has turned into a dispute in the Turkish press, as Turkish columnists have expressed their agreement with CNBC-e and official Turkish history, saying the fire in Smyrna was the work of the retreating Greek army and the Greek community in the city. Others, however, say the fire started after the recapture of the city by the Ottomans.