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‘It is our duty to cut those tongues who defame Adam and Eve’: Turkish President Erdogan threatens singer Sezen Aksu

"No one can defame our Prophet Adam. It is our duty to cut those tongues. No one's tongue can say those words to our mother Eve," Erdogan said after Friday prayers at Grand Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul last week.

In a veiled threat to legendary singer Sezen Aksu, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said nobody can defame Prophet Adam and those who dare so would have their tongues chopped.

“No one can defame our Prophet Adam. It is our duty to cut those tongues. No one’s tongue can say those words to our mother Eve,” Erdogan said after Friday prayers at Grand Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul last week, indirectly referring to the singer’s new video of her 2017 song.

Aksu has been at the receiving end of an attack by Islamist groups and pro-government organisations, who have targeted her for one of her songs that were released in 2017 but whose new video was released a few weeks back. In her song titled “It is a wonderful thing to live”, the singer refers to Adam and Eve, two figures that are revered across Turkey, as “ignorants”, drawing the ire of rabid fundamentalists as well as President Erdogan, who is well known for his slide towards a more puritanical version of Islam.

The detractors of the song claim that not only does it insult the historical figures of Adam and Eve, but it also insulting to the “moral values”.

Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council(RTÜK) have reportedly asked television and radio channels operating across the country to refrain from playing Sezen Aksu’s song. The government body had been threatening channels with heavy fines and sanctions should they play the aforementioned song.

RTÜK Deputy Chairman İbrahim Uslu, however, claimed that the warning applied not just to Aksu’s song but to all those songs which lacked “moral character”. But the analysts claim this clause of the Turkish criminal code has often been invoked by the Justice and Development Party(AKP)-led Turkish government in their bid to clamp down on films, television shows, songs and other artistic creations that perceive to go against Islamic principles. Of late, it has been overwhelmingly used to silence dissent.

Uslu said the meetings with the channels were just “warnings” so as to prevent them from inflicting upon themselves any further “damage”.

“We never gave an order saying ‘Don’t broadcast Sezen Aksu’, anyway, we don’t have that legal authority. The song was examined, we warned the organizations to act cautiously so that they do not become victims,” he said.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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