Eurovision Is a Threat to the Traditional Family: Erdogan

Turkey's president slams competition for, he claims, encouraging 'gender neutralization'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2024 1:30 AM CDT
Eurovision Song Contest Threatens the Traditional Family: Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint statement to the media in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 22, 2024.   (Ahmad Al-Rubaye /Pool Photo via AP, File)

Turkey's president took a swipe at the Eurovision Song Contest on Monday, accusing the annual event of allegedly encouraging "gender neutralization" and threatening the traditional family, the AP reports. It was an apparent reference to Swiss singer Nemo who won the 68th Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month with "The Code," an operatic pop-rap ode to the singer's journey toward embracing a nongender identity. The 24-year-old singer became the first nonbinary winner of the contest that has long been embraced as a safe haven by the LGBTQ community.

In a speech following a Cabinet meeting, Recep Tayyip Erdogan described participants at the contest as the "Trojan horses of social corruption" and said his government was right to keep Turkey out of the pan-European pop competition since 2012. "At such events, it has become impossible to meet a normal person," claimed Erdogan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party finds its roots in Turkey's Islamic movement and whose government has grown less tolerant of LGBTQ rights in recent years. "We understand better how we made the right decision by keeping Turkey out of this disgraceful competition for the past 12 years," he said. (A contestant was dramatically expelled from this year's competition hours before the finale.)

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