Istanbul Mayor throws support behind iconic singer Sezen Aksu targeted over 2017 song

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has expressed his support for the iconic singer Sezen Aksu, after she was targeted by Islamists over a song from five years ago. “Artists are the internal voice of this country. No one can diminish these voices to change the agenda,” he tweeted on Jan. 18.

This collage photo shows Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu (L) and iconic singer Sezen Aksu.

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Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğu has thrown his support behind pop singer Sezen Aksu who has become the target of Islamists over a 2017 song titled "Şahane Bir Şey Yaşamak" (It is a great thing to live). 

“The artist will speak. Artists are the internal voice of this country. No one can diminish these voices to change the agenda,” İmamoğlu tweeted on Jan. 18.

Through hashtags, İmamoğlu also expressed his support for Aksu's fellow pop singers Mustafa Sandal and Tarkan.

Sezen Aksu is on the target of Islamist groups, close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), over her song in which she says, "Say hello to those ignorant Eve and Adam." 

Aksu had shared a video clip of the song from 2017 on social media two weeks ago.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also targeted the iconic singer, calling her an “irresponsible singer” and her song “freak.”

"The misery and ignorance of the irresponsible singer, who called Prophet Adem and Hava 'ignorant' in the lyrics of the freak song she wrote, is explicit. I tell the artist, If you are a sparrow, know your sparrowship, don’t be tempted to be a raven," Bahçeli said during a parliamentary group meeting on Jan. 18, using the singer's nickname "Minik Serçe" ("Little Sparrow" in English). 

Aksu has not been left alone in this smear campaign against her. For example, pop singer Mustafa Sandal named Aksu one of the "deepest poets of this country." "It is irrational and illogical to twist the lyrics of a song in such a way," Sandal tweeted on Jan. 17.

Meanwhile last week, Tarkan had shared his sadness about a medical student being “driven to suicide” with a statement shared online. He was critical of parents who send their children to dorms run by dormitories.

“Don't forget that our main duty is to protect and look after our children. Not to make them serve the exploitation of bigoted and fanatical mentalities,” Tarkan had tweeted on Jan. 11.

Enes Kara committed suicide after he denounced the pressures and anxiety he was facing at his cult-run dormitory.