AKP Municipality cancels singer Melike Şahin's concert after her remarks on violence against women and LGBTI+s

The Bursa Metropolitan Municipality led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on June 14 announced that singer Melike Şahin's concert at the 61st International Bursa Festival was canceled one day after her remarks on violence against women and LGBTI+s in an award ceremony.

Duvar English

The Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on June 14 canceled the concert by famous Turkish singer Melike Şahin at the 61st International Bursa Festival. This decision came following her speech at the award ceremony of the Elle Style Awards on June 13 regarding the violence against women and LGBTI+s in Turkey. 

The municipality made a short statement on its Twitter account and only announced that the concert was canceled without giving any reason. Nonetheless, the singer received a public outcry from the pro-government constituency after her speech in the award ceremony and a social media campaign has started for the cancellation of her concert.

Şahin received the “Most Stylish Musician of the Year Award” at the ceremony and said, "I believe that a day will come to this land when we will not be judged or lynched for who we love, who we kiss, and where we uncover or cover ourselves. We will be able to enjoy the happiness that comes from standing side by side in solidarity just because we are human beings. We will do this together. All my sisters, all queers... I know that we have the power to cover every part of us that is hurt with compassion. I dedicate my award to the upright smiles we deserve and the prices we pay."

At the same award ceremony, another famous singer Mabel Matiz also dedicated his award to the LGBTI+ community in Turkey. The singer also has been targeted in social media by the government supporters in which they demand his concerts to be cancelled.

After Turkish state's increasing aggression toward the country's LGBTI+ community and failure to adopt effective policies for the elimination of violence against women, many famous figures have been using their award speeches to point out the ongoing problems. Nonetheless, they have been facing backlash from the officials and pro-government media.