Turkish singer threatened with ‘annihilation’ for tender gay love song
Mabel Matiz. (Nihal Demirci/Getty Images)
A Turkish singer has been threatened with ‘annihilation’ by fans and state censorship for releasing a gay love song.
Mabel Matiz, an LGBTQ+ rights activist known off-stage as Fatih Karaca, released “Karakul” on June 30 to cap off Pride Month.
The music video shows singer “Öyle Kolaysa”, 36, lusting and caressing a man in a lavish mansion as they hold red carnations and lilies.
But hours after the video aired on YouTube, attracting nearly 4.5 million views, critics on Twitter called for its immediate removal. “#Haddini Bil Mabel Matizor “Mabel Matiz, know your place,” trending across Turkey on July 1.
An user wrote“To prevent this from happening again, there must be serious consequences and penalties. We will annihilate you, children of Lut.
Lut refers to a prophet of the same name in the Quran sent to Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of Lut were destroyed by God because, among other things, men sexually pursued other men. Although some experts question whether the verses clearly forbid homosexuality, Lut has come to refer generally to sins such as homosexuality.
Another user called on LGBTQ+ people to be “corrected“.
“They are not accepted anywhere in the world, [they are] cursed seeds. It is not true that it comes from God nor that it is innate. This horny perversion is just a perversion,” they wrote.
A third user added“We won’t change Turkey’s traditional culture… let your art sink.”
But not everyone criticized Matiz for the song. “Let’s boil our ears to all the bulls**t,” tweeted singer Gülsen, “and open yourself up to this song.”
Turkey’s media regulator, the Supreme Council for Radio and Television, also known as RTÜK, banned radio and TV stations from broadcasting the song, OutNewsGlobal reported.
It was a scathing act of censorship that came just days after police in riot gear brutally dismantled Istanbul’s pride. Police arrested at least 370 people who defiantly took to the streets of the capital despite politicians banning the parade.
Kaos GL Derneği, one of Turkey’s oldest LGBTQ+ campaign groups, said in a statement: “The prohibitions, the censors cannot prevent our songs.
“Mabel’s voice and breath are ours, all of us. Against the swamp of hate, we give voice to Mabel.
In the face of the simmering hatred, however, Matiz says he doesn’t care.
“I cry but of joy”, he writes in a statement posted on Twitter. “Expressing all forms of love, affection and humanity,” he said, will always be something he strives to convey with his music.
“Everything passes,” Matiz added, “life and music remain.”