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ISTANBUL -- The Prime Ministry's Women's Status and Problem General Directorate has lodged a complaint with the Supreme Board of Radio and Television about the "demeaning content" of a Motorola commercial that it claims uses a woman's body in an "exploitative manner."

The offending TV spot stars Turkish model Deniz Akkaya dressed in a provocative miniskirt and a low-cut shirt and sitting in the front row in a cinema. While she waits for the movie to start, she talks to her friend next to her about the attributes of the new Motorola mobile phone.

While they talk, a movie attendant escorting people to their seats repeatedly points his flashlight at Ms. Akkaya's legs. Eventually, the enraged model turns to the attendant and says: "Don't you have anything better to show?" The attendant quickly replies: "Sure I do," and proceeds to beam the torch on Ms. Akkaya's blouse.

The attendant then tells one member of the audience to "sit behind the lady," a phrase which in Turkey has an added vulgar connotation.

The Women's Directorate argues that "portraying a woman as a sexual object in the media reinforces the sexual prejudice against women and destroys woman's identity as an individual. This commercial is the latest example of this."

The Turkish TV watchdog has yet to make a decision on the complaint.

The spot for Unitel, Motorola's distributor in Turkey, was created by Istanbul-based Ali Taran Creative Workshop, a small, independent hot shop. -- Gurul Ogud

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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