Turkish TV channel fined for Pink music video featuring gay dancers

Turkey has fined a TV channel for airing a “homosexual” music video from Pink.

The country’s media watchdog, the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), took action after broadcaster AS TV aired the popular American singer’s music video for track “Secrets.”

The track’s music video features both opposite-sex and same-sex pairings sensually dancing together—with a male couple shown shirtless and grinding together, while two women are seen kissing.

The video for Pink track “Secrets”

The video is not rated as explicit, but Reuters reports that RTUK deemed the content inappropriate and punished the channel for airing it.

RTUK ruled that children could be “negatively influenced” by the “erotic dance figures of a homosexual nature.”

The channel was fined ₺17,000 Turkish Lira (£2,100) for the alleged standards breach.

Pink has not commented on the row, but fans and LGBT+ activists have hit out at the decision.

The video for Pink track “Secrets”

The country has taken a tough Russia-style stance against depictions of homosexuality in media. Turkish officials recently ruled out a return to the Eurovision Song Contest, citing the show’s history of visible LGBT+ contestants.

Broadcast chief Ibrahim Eren had said of that decision: “As a public broadcaster we cannot broadcast live at 9pm, when children are watching, an Austrian with a beard and a skirt, who claims not to have a gender and says, ‘I am a man and a woman at the same time.’

“There is some kind of confusion of mentality here… once this is corrected we will return to Eurovision.”

In June, a screening of the film Pride organised by the LGBT+ committee of the Turkish Communist Party in the capital Ankara was banned by the city’s authorities, citing concerns for public safety.

It is legal to be gay in Turkey but the LGBT+ community faces high levels of public stigma and oppression that has worsened under President Erdoğan.

Police in Istanbul have used tear gas and rubber bullets to forcibly disperse attempts to hold LGBT+ events in the city, while the capital city of Ankara has enforced an outright ban on LGBT+ events.

In July, police arrested 11 people at the Pride parade in Istanbul, after LGBT+ activists defied the ban and threats from authorities.