Turkey's media watchdog has rebuked one of the country's most popular ongoing soap operas for a passionate kissing scene deemed excessively erotic, reports said on Friday.
The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) took issue with a prolonged embrace between Elif and Omer, the main protagonists of the hit soap "Kara Para Ask" (Black Money Love).
The watchdog will meet in the next weeks to decide what action to take, which will likely involve a fine, the Hurriyet daily said.
Turkish soaps have in the last years become the country's most successful cultural exports, generating huge audiences in the Balkans and Middle East with series which often consist of up to 50 movie-length episodes.
However romantic scenes rarely stray beyond the conventional and while kissing is filmed it is rarely more than a peck on the lips.
But the RTUK took issue with a realistic and passionate scene in "Kara Para Ask" where Elif and Omer suck and bite each other's lips.
"Here is a scene that goes one or two steps beyond just kissing, a scene shown in great detail and length and which is pure eroticism," the watchdog was quoted as saying.
It explained: "Rather than love, the concept of eroticism refers to nudity and behavioural rituals, such as kissing and lovemaking, that come before nudity and makes the transition to sex possible."
The wordy report by the regulator bizarrely quotes from a book by US kissing guru William Cane, "The Art of Kissing", to describe the embrace shown in the scene as "lip-o-suction".
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been accused by critics of seeking to impose its Islamic morality on Turkey's officially secular society.
The "Black Money Love" series, which features megastar Turkish actress Tuba Buyukustun, has been hailed by critics as one of the most artistically ambitious Turkish soaps in recent years.