Skip to main content

Turkey’s pop queen draws sudden wrath over five-year-old lyrics

Sezen Aksu, the reclusive diva of Turkish pop, has become the latest target of conservatives who accuse her of blasphemy.
A screen grab from the music video for Sezen Aksu's "Manifesto".

Sezen Aksu, the unrivaled queen of Turkish pop, has invoked the wrath of the country’s Islamist nationalist groups with a song she wrote five years ago that allegedly insults the biblical Adam and Eve.

With Turkey’s challenges piling up from a faltering economy, political divisions ahead of upcoming elections and conflicts in and with neighboring countries, it may appear strange for a five-year-old song by a reclusive diva in her late 60s to make headlines. Yet since the beginning of the week, Aksu, a slight figure with full lips and soulful eyes, has been one of the top issues in parliamentary speeches, statements by Turkey’s powerful Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) and some Turkish political parties’ internal dynamics. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.