Zerocalcare scandal in Turkey: Controversy on Kurdish flag in “Tear along the edges”
Turkey–For six days on the small screen, Zerocalcare, with its series “Tear along the edges,” makes a big noise in Turkey. After the controversy over the Roman accent “incomprehensible” and “to be subtitled,” the storm moved to the Kurdish flag attached to the door of Zero’s room in the series. But, again, the reaction comes from Ankara.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party symbol, PKK, did not appeal to the Turks, who have conflicted with the Kurds for over 40 years over the demand for Kurdistan’s independence from Turkey. “Scandal after scandal on Netflix” reads the Turkish newspaper Sabah.com – In the series “Tear along the edges,” the flag of the terrorist organization PKK was seen hanging on the door and the wall.”
The connection of Michele Rech, Zero’s real name, to the Kurdish cause is indisputable. He dedicated the graphic novel “Kobane Calling,” the story of his trip in 2015 to the border between Turkey and Syria, a few kilometers from the besieged city of Kobane. In the author’s gaze, the story of a possible utopia in the heart of a disputed and defended land, of the rubble of Kobane and an entire people at war to protect their right to exist, defending borders whose existence doesn’t appear in any geographical atlas. An unacceptable vision for the Turkish regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish hostility to the Kurdish symbol can be explained by the forty-year conflict between the country governed by Erdogan and the Kurdish insurgents. They have demanded the independence of Kurdistan since 1978. Michele Rech’s link to the Kurdish cause is also connected to his recent comic Kobane Calling. Zerocalcare told in comic form his experience in 2015 on the border between Turkey and Syria, a few kilometers from the besieged city of Kobanê.
The television series consists of six episodes in which the character conceived by Rech leaves the comic strips to animate himself on TV, however faithful to his sway in the Roman neighborhood of Rebibbia, where he lives between hardships, manias, and insane considerations but not too much. Irreverent, demented, with incorrect language, and always with a robust Roman cadence, the miniseries show many flashbacks and anecdotes ranging from his childhood to the present day, from memories of his school years to existential complaints about his incompleteness.