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No points from Erdogan. Turkish leader says Eurovision Song Contest poses threat to family values

No points from Erdogan.  Turkish leader says Eurovision Song Contest poses threat to family values

 


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) The Turkish president attacked the Eurovision Song Contest Monday, accusing the annual event of encouraging gender neutralization and threatening traditional family.

In a speech after a Cabinet meeting, Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the competition's participants Trojan horses of social corruption and said his government was right to keep Turkey out of the pan-European pop competition since 2012.

This 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 gender-neutral identity. The 24-year-old singer became the first non-binary winner of the competition which has long been considered a safe haven by the LGBTQ community.

At such events, it became impossible to meet a normal person, said Erdogan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party has its roots in Turkey's Islamic movement and whose government has become less tolerant of LGBTQ rights these last years.

We understand better why we made the right decision in keeping Turkey out of this shameful competition for the past 12 years, he said.

Erdogan also denounced the serious decline in Turkey's birth rate on Monday, calling it an existential threat and a disaster for the country.

Last week, Turkey's National Statistical Institute announced that the country's birth rate in 2023 had fallen to 1.51 children per woman.

The Turkish leader has long called on families to have at least three children.

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