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Queer singer tries to create space for discussion in Turkey

As the government ramps up its anti-LGBTQ stance, Mabel Matiz, one of Turkey’s most popular queer artists, says he will continue to write songs that inspire public conversation on taboos.
Mabel Matiz

Istanbul, Turkey — In early August, Fatih Karaca, better known as Mabel Matiz, stood on stage in Istanbul. As the first chords of one of his most famous songs, "Alaimisema," an old Turkish word meaning “rainbow,” began to swell, he spoke to the sold-out crowd.

“Humans are creatures that are very susceptible to excluding the other, to alienating the other, to becoming hostile, to excluding what they do not know,” Matiz said. “But underneath all that, I think we all know that we are the same deep down.”

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