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LOCAL > Popular Turkish singer causes outrage with anti-Semitic Gaza tweets

ISTANBUL

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Yıldız Tilbe has been making folk-influenced hit pop albums since the 1990s.

Yıldız Tilbe has been making folk-influenced hit pop albums since the 1990s.

Turkish Jewish Community condemned a popular female pop singer after posting a succession of anti-Semitic tweets over Israel’s deadly air campaign in Gaza.

In a released statement on the website, the community called on the authorities to open an investigation on Yıldız Tilbe, a singer who has released a string of hateful messages on Twitter.

“We sadly condemn the racist and hateful words posted on the Yıldız Tilbe account,” the statement said. “We believe the judiciary officials will immediately start probing [the issue] as part of the hate crime articles in the Penal Code.”

On the night of July 10, Yıldız Tilbe, who has been making folk-influenced hit pop albums since the 1990s, appeared to praise Hitler in the tweets and say the end of the Jews was near.

“If God allows, it will be again Muslims who will bring the end of those Jews, it is near, near,” she tweeted on her official account @YildizzTilbee.

“They (Jews) are hostile to Allah and all prophets including their own prophet Moses.”

In another tweet she appeared to praise Hitler for the mass extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, writing “May God bless Hitler.”

Over 100 Palestinians have now been killed in Israel’s air campaign against Gaza, causing grave international concern.

The comments also went viral on social media where a petition campaign was launched to convince the singer to offer an apology.

Former head of the Turkish Jewish Community, Silviyo Ovadya, also slammed the tweets.

“It’s completely a racist statement. It should be punished, but nobody intervenes. There’s nothing to do about it,” he said. “She is making such a racist statement, and she is a so-called artist. Those statements do not suit well to an artist. That is outright racism and it is a crime all over the world.”

Tilbe gets support from outspoken Ankara mayor

Tilbe wrote after the criticism that she was not racist.

“There is oppression against Muslims everywhere in the world. Is there any single American or Jew being massacred, whose country is bombed or whose people are killed?”

While Tilbe is yet to issue an apology, she has received support from the mayor of Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, Melih Gökçek.

Gökçek, a senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed the singer’s Gaza tweets, retweeting most of her comments except the one on Hitler, calling them “full of intelligence.”

“I applaud you Yıldız Tilbe for the messages you deliver to many of your colleagues and especially to the Turkish nation,” he wrote.

Tilbe released her debut album in 1994 and has enjoyed growing fame since then. She writes most of her songs and also composes for other singers including Turkey’s internationally-renowned pop star Tarkan.

July/11/2014

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