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A song depicting a love story between two men by Turkish singer-songwriter Mabel Matiz (real name Fatih Karaka) has prompted a huge backlash across Turkey. The gay love song, entitled “Karakul” (Police Station), tells the story of two men’s love thwarted by police action.

The accompanying video, which features Matiz and male model Sedar Bileke, includes several LGBTQ+ symbols like the rainbow flag and red carnations (a sign of homosexuality often used in the early 20th century). Lilies, which are said to represent love between two women, also feature.

Although the video has been viewed more than three million times, social media has been awash with criticism with the hashtag #HaddiniBilMabelMatiz (know your place, Mabel) trading across the country. One Twitter user said “Too avoid this happening again, there must be serious consequences and punishments. we are going to annihilate you, children of Lut.” “Lut” is the Islamic equivalent of the Judaeo-Christian “Lot”, frequently used in the three Abrahamic religions to personify “sinful acts” including homosexuality.

Other Twitter users have been circulating an image from a billboard which depicts a family of a man, woman and two children sheltering from rainbow colours under an umbrella, with the slogan “Only Islam can protect your family”. OutNewsGlobal has decided not to reproduce that image here. Instead, we’re linking to the video:

Turkey’s media watchdog, RTÜK, has now stepped in and demanded that radio and television station do not play the song or face “severe consequences”.

Several high-profile Turkish singers have rallied round Mabel, with Gulsen tweeting to her 1.6 million followers “Let’s plug our ears to all the bullshit and open up to this song. Mabel was in our hearts again.”

Actress Hazel Kaya, who has 1.1 million followers, also expressed her support.

Last month, authorities in Turkey banned the Istanbul Pride march from taking place, arresting around 300 people, including journalist, who defied the ban.

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