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President Erdoğan and MHP Leader Bahçeli Criticize Eurovision and Nemo

May 28, 2024

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli have made controversial statements regarding the Eurovision Song Contest and Switzerland’s representative, Nemo. Their remarks have sparked significant backlash and have cast a shadow over Turkey’s potential return to the competition.

Erdoğan’s comments came during a press conference following a cabinet meeting, where he harshly criticized Eurovision. He stated, “We now understand even better how wise it was to keep Turkey away from the Eurovision disgrace for the past 12 years. The most obvious areas of global imposition are gender-neutral policies, and we witnessed the alarming extent of this at last week’s Eurovision contest. It’s clear that the bizarre figures presented to young people are the Trojan horses of social decay. This is recognized by everyone as a deliberate policy. We see how correct our decision was to keep Turkey away from this disgrace for the last 10-12 years.”

This statement followed earlier remarks by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, who had also voiced his disapproval of Eurovision and specifically targeted Nemo. Bahçeli said, “The level of marginalization is terrifying. The decaying social and cultural structure of the West has taken the stage. It is nothing but a confirmation of a disgraceful degradation for a Swiss male artist to appear on stage in a furry coat, heavy makeup, and a pink satin skirt. If this is called ‘modernity,’ we say let this modernity perish. If this is called ‘contemporaneity,’ we emphatically say let there be no such notion of modernity.”

Credit: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Bahçeli’s remarks reflect a broader criticism from Turkish officials towards Eurovision, particularly focusing on Nemo’s appearance and lifestyle, which have been subjects of controversy. These statements underscore a deep-rooted opposition to the values of diversity and inclusion that Eurovision promotes.

Erdoğan’s and Bahçeli’s comments have effectively dashed any remaining hopes of Turkey’s return to Eurovision in the near future. Their derogatory language and stance against the contest’s inclusivity are a stark reminder of the challenges faced by those advocating for diversity and acceptance.

The Eurovision community and human rights advocates have condemned these remarks, emphasizing the importance of supporting all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The backlash against Erdoğan and Bahçeli highlights the ongoing struggle for acceptance and equality within the global cultural landscape.

As the debate continues, it is crucial to stand in solidarity with all minorities and the LGBTQ+ community, reinforcing the values of respect and inclusivity that Eurovision embodies.

What are your thoughts on President Erdoğan’s and Devlet Bahçeli’s remarks about Eurovision and Nemo? Share your opinions and join the conversation in the comments below

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