Turkey's media watchdog has fined a private television channel for broadcasting episodes of the American cartoon series "The Simpsons" that poked fun at God, a local newspaper reported on Monday.
The Supreme Board of Radio and Televison (RTUK) fined CNBC-E around 53,000 lira (22,700 euros) over the show, saying it "mocked God" by depicting him serving Satan a cup of coffee and showing one character encouraging another to commit murder in the name of God, the Hurriyet newspaper said.
RTUK also accused "The Simpsons" of showing scenes in which copies of the bible are burnt and encouraging young people to consume alcohol.
The decision by RTUK, which has imposed a string of fines over other television series aired in Turkey that were deemed to be insulting to God or historical leaders or offending family values, was ridiculed by Hurriyet columnist Mehmet Yilmaz.
"I wonder what the makers of 'The Simpsons' would say when they hear their jokes are taken literally in a country called 'Turkey'," Yilmaz wrote. "Perhaps Homer will get a Muslim neighbour."
"The Simpsons" is the longest-running American sitcom, with more than 500 episodes aired since 1989.