Home World Turkey, Erdogan against Western art: “Normalizes all deviance and indecency”

Turkey, Erdogan against Western art: “Normalizes all deviance and indecency”

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“Western works of art are full of hidden messages that have a specific purpose, they are not innocent.” This was stated by the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the inauguration of the Yeditepe Biennial in Istanbul. “We should use every means to counter these insidious attacks that aim to normalize any deviance, any marginality and any indecency in the form of art,” added Erdogan.

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The Turkish president is not new to harsh comments against artists he does not like and often works of art in Turkey have ended up at the center of court cases. In 2011 Erdogan defined a monumental work by the artist Mehmet Aksoy as “monstrous”, commissioned as a gesture of friendship between Turkey and Armenia by the municipality of the eastern province of Kars, near the Turkish-Armenian border. Erdogan requested that the work be removed and the sculpture was later demolished.

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Last year, two students of Istanbul Bosphorus University were arrested for organizing an exhibition on the university campus featuring a work that was described as “disrespectful” by the government-appointed director of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. because it featured the flag of LGBT + rights next to the black stone of the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia. Commenting on the arrest of the students, who were later released, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu called them “perverts”.

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