Commentary Magazine


Topic: John Lennon

Imagine: Turkish TV Censors John Lennon

When organizers of the 30th Olympic Games in London—the most politically correct in history—decided that “Imagine,” the late John Lennon paean to world peace should  feature in the closing ceremony, little did they realize they would so greatly offend official Turkish sensibilities.

From the Hurriyet Daily News:

A presenter for Turkish state broadcaster TRT omitted part of iconic British musician John Lennon’s lyrics that call for “no religion” during the broadcasting of the Olympic Games’ closing ceremonies, NTV reported on its website. One of Lennon’s most famous songs, “Imagine,” was included in the Aug. 12 ceremonies and was translated into Turkish by the TRT presenter as it played in the background. The verses of the song which called for people to imagine a world with no countries and no reason to kill or die for were correctly translated into Turkish, but the presenter skipped the part where Lennon sang for “no religion.” The presenter translated the remainder of the lyrics correctly.

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When organizers of the 30th Olympic Games in London—the most politically correct in history—decided that “Imagine,” the late John Lennon paean to world peace should  feature in the closing ceremony, little did they realize they would so greatly offend official Turkish sensibilities.

From the Hurriyet Daily News:

A presenter for Turkish state broadcaster TRT omitted part of iconic British musician John Lennon’s lyrics that call for “no religion” during the broadcasting of the Olympic Games’ closing ceremonies, NTV reported on its website. One of Lennon’s most famous songs, “Imagine,” was included in the Aug. 12 ceremonies and was translated into Turkish by the TRT presenter as it played in the background. The verses of the song which called for people to imagine a world with no countries and no reason to kill or die for were correctly translated into Turkish, but the presenter skipped the part where Lennon sang for “no religion.” The presenter translated the remainder of the lyrics correctly.

Now I’m no atheist, but I’m not going to begrudge the late Lennon his philosophy. Still, as Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan bases Turkey’s bid to host the Olympics in religion rather than peace and brotherhood, it is worth asking what else will Turkey seek to censor.

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