Islamist Backlash Cancels Bulgarian LGBT Star’s Concert in Turkey

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09/14/2021

A scheduled performance at the Balkan Fair in Bursa in Turkey by pop-folk singer Vasil Trojanov Boyanov, better known by his stage name Azis, was cancelled on Monday after an Islamist conservative newspaper led a campaign against the popular Bulgarian performer. “Homosexual perverted Azis will take to the stage at a festival organised for local people,” said an article published by newspaper Yeni Akit on Sunday. The news was shared by many Islamists, targeting Azis and the Kestel municipality, where the Balkan Fair is being held, and which is also run by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP. After the Islamists’ campaign began, the Kestel municipality removed the performance by Azis, which was scheduled on September 19, from the festival’s agenda. He was replaced by another musician, Toni Storaro, also known as Tuncer, a Bulgarian of Turkish ethnicity.

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