The sultan’s last diktat: “Belly dancing prohibited in Turkey”

The times he gave it seem distant Turkey There were also hits capable of reaching the top of the charts in half of Europe. In 1997, Tarkan conquered the nightclubs of the Old Continent with a song in which, in the video, dozens of girls chased the singer to fight for a kiss.

A distant time precisely, because in the news of Turkey today we speak of a President Erdogan who even banned the Belly dance. Although more associated with the Arab world, even in the Anatolian country, this particular dance has always been very popular.

One of the most popular artists is Didem Kinali, Turkish dancer also famous for dancing in Ibiza at Madonna’s birthday party. For some time, Erdogan has shown his intolerance towards this dance. It is considered too strong, especially if performed with the belly and pelvis uncovered.

And therefore also for this coming New Year, the Turks will not be able to see dancing on television. Previously, on the contrary, broadcasters broadcast hours of entertainment on the longest night of the year, in which belly dancers played a key role.

The censorship it began in 2014 and corresponds to a specific direction taken by Erdogan from that year. That is to say, to listen more and more attentively to the “advice” and dictates coming from Diyanet, that is, the state body responsible for religious affairs. L’Akp, Erdogan’s party, has always had a conservative vision and in line with the Muslim Brotherhood galaxy. But it is since 2014 that the political formation founded by the Turkish president is getting closer and closer to Diyanet, adopting all the provisions.

The Religious Affairs body that year considered belly dancing on television to be contrary to social morality. And then the Supreme Council of Radio and Television, a sort of media content control body, banned the performances. At least those performed publicly on stage on TV and on New Year’s Eve.

After so many years, in a Turkey increasingly in economic difficulty and intolerant of Erdogan (at least in the big cities where the AKP has lost a majority), the ban is beginning to be lived with greater dissatisfaction. Didem Kinali said, as evidenced by the site To monitor in recent days, even dancing for free and fully dressed in order to return to the art that made her famous and that she, along with many Turkish girls, has been practicing since childhood.

The censorship of oriental dance, in a context marked by greater poverty, becomes not only a moral question but also a symbol of inequality social. Because, after all, those who can afford private parties on New Year’s Eve will be able to admire this art of great historical tradition without any problem. While on the contrary a large part of the population will only be able to see the dancers again this year in repertoire videos. Before long, this, like other social problems, could become the subject of political propaganda for or against Erdogan.

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