Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar has expressed his support for a singer who was criticized for a video clip filmed in the coastal city of Varosha.
Tatar said in a statement that he met online with Nihayet Elibol, who drew ire after releasing a clip of her song, Bulaman, in the abandoned town which was known as a ghost town -- cut off from the world for 47 years.
A portion of the region -- about 3.5% of the total area -- was reopened in October 2020, with people welcomed daily to visit between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Tatar congratulated the 32-year-old singer known by her stage name, Nini, as well as her team for the video clip.
He said the "inhumane attitudes" toward Elibol, who said she was subjected to threats and insults by Greek Cypriots, were the product of a "bigoted mentality."
Noting that her song "did not have any political concerns," Tatar said there was no logical basis for the "attacks" because the location was Varosha.
“Tolerance to art and differences is one of the most important phenomena of civilized life,” he said.
Tatar also said as a Turkish Cypriot leader, he and Turkish Cypriot people were standing by the singer.
Elibol thanked Tatar for his support and said that her song was taken off the air because of complaints by Greek Cypriots.
The video clip was shot during the summer but released Nov. 16 on YouTube.