Turkish far-right continues to make youth’s life insufferable: Band’s concert canceled for 'LGBT support'

Turkish authorities banned the concert of the famous Turkish band Dolu Kadahi Ters Tu in Gaziantep province after the Islamist far-right New Welfare Party’s smear campaign against the band for “supporting LGBTI+”

The group unfurls a rainbow flag in a previous concert.

Duvar English

The concert by the popular Turkish band Dolu Kadehi Ters Tut at Gaziantep University in southeastern Gaziantep province was canceled following a hate campaign by the far-right New Welfare Party (YRP), which accused the band of "supporting LGBTI+."

No statement was made by the university administration regarding the cancellation of the concert, which was under attack from Islamist extremists organized under the name Gaziantep Family Platform, supported by the YRP.

After the incident, the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Şehitkamil Municipality allocated a cultural center in the district to the band. However, the band announced that their appearance there was also banned due to pressure.

"As a result of the pressure on the cultural center, we were prevented from performing without any official justification," the group's statement read.

On the other hand, in the statement made by the far-right Gaziantep Family Platform after the cancellation of the concert, the the band was targeted again. 

The statement read, "This event was canceled with the initiatives of the Gaziantep Family Platform. We thank the university administration and civil society organizations who took the initiative. These and similar so-called events that are contrary to our national and spiritual values, especially with content that will harm our youth, should not be allowed."

Faruk Soner Ataş, Chair of Youth Branches of YRP thanked Governor Kemal Çeber in a statement regarding the cancellation of the concert on his social media account.

"The program of the LGBT propaganda group Dolu Kadehi Ters Tut was first canceled at the university, and then the program at the cultural center was canceled with the decision of the governor. We would like to thank our Gaziantep Governor Kemal Çeber and his delegation who made this decision and we will not allow such an event in our veteran city."

The band had previously unfurled a rainbow flag at their concert and had also prevented security guards from preventing the audience from unfurling the flag.

The 2017 music video for one of the band's song also narrated the story of a gay couple's tensions with their homophobic family.

The “family platforms” are hate groups that received the government’s support to attack the country’s marginalized LGBTI+ community. They have organized rallies named “big family meetings” in order to spread hate against LGBTI+ individuals.

For the past years, many university spring festivals and other youth festivals have been banned due to pressure from such groups. They also targeted concerts of many musicians who showed any kind of support toward LGBTI+s.