Bülent Ersoy – Turkey

Bülent Ersoy (born 1952) is a Turkish celebrity. She is a popular singer of Ottoman classical music. Over the years, Ersoy has become a symbol for the increased tolerance to LGBT figures in Turkish media. Later Life: Already one of Turkey’s most popular male singers and actors, Bülent Ersoy gained international notoriety in 1981 for a sex change operation by Dr. Mındıkoğlu in her native country. Ersoy kept the name “Bülent” even though it is more common among males. After the operation, Bülent found herself in opposition to the homophobic and transphobic regime of Kenan Evren. In a crackdown on “social deviance,” Ersoy’s public performances were banned along with those of other transsexual and transgendered people. From Ersoy’s standpoint, the ban should not have even applied to her, as she was an actual woman and not simply a man dressed as one. To circumvent the ban, she petitioned the Turkish courts to legally recognize her as a woman. The petition was rejected in January of 1982. Days later, Ersoy attempted suicide. In 1983 she left the entertainment industry in protest of the Evren regime’s repressive policies. Later that same year, Evren left office and many of his policies were rescinded … // … Ersoy sparked major controversy in February 2008 when she publicly criticised Turkey’s incursion into Northern Iraq and said she “would not send her sons to war” if she were a mother. An Istanbul public prosecutor has subsequently filed charges against her for “turning Turks against compulsory military service”, an article which also brought prominent Turkish intellectual Perihan Magden to trial in recent past. The Turkish Human Right Foundation (IHD) have stood up to Ersoy’s defence. The attention to the fact that she is an extraordinarily talented singer with an unequaled command of her voice, often distracts one from Ersoy’s transsexual status. In the show ‘Popstar Alaturka’, Bulent Ersoy has announced that she will be beginning a new album project very soon and the album is expected to be ready by the end of Summer 2008… Although she did not announce what would be genre of the album, it is expected that it will be cross breed between Turkish Classical Style and ‘Arabesk‘… Selami Sahin who is a famous songwriter in Turkey is also said to have composed two new songs to Bulent Ersoy. (full text).

Divabulentersoy.com’ a Hosgeldiniz!


Bülent Ersoy – Turkey

Bülent Ersoy Mini Konser – 2, 9.58 min;

Célèbre pour sa voix et ses talents d’actrice, Bulent Ersoy, reine de la vie nocturne turque, défraye les chroniques il y a quelques jours en déclarant dans une émission de télévision, que si elle avait été en mesure d’avoir un enfant, elle ne l’aurait jamais laissé partir au front. Cette déclaration provoque un tollé et vaut à la chanteuse transexuelle une mise en examen pour “atteinte au prestige de l’armée” … (texte entier).

On ne touche pas au service militaire en Turquie.

… A popular transsexual Turkish singer went on trial Wednesday on charges of trying to turn the public against military service. Bulent Ersoy could face more than two years in prison for saying during a live television show that if she had children, she would not want them to join the army to fight Kurdish rebels … (full text).

Listen her on LAST fm.

… The European Union, which Turkey wants to join, is pressing Turkey to do away with laws that stifle free expression. Under EU pressure, Turkey amended a law in April that barred the denigration of Turkish identity and institutions. The law had been used to prosecute Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and other intellectuals. But human rights groups said the changes did not go far enough and pointed to other freedom-curbing laws, such as the one used against Ersoy … (full text).

Bulent Ersoy is a famous transexual Turkish singer: showing 12 comments.

Elle dit: “Nos enfants continuent d’aller là-bas, il y a des larmes, du sang et des funérailles et nous continuons à propager les mêmes clichés. Pourquoi ne trouvons-nous pas une solution?” … (texte entier).

La diva transsexuelle, porte-parole des mères turques.

Bülent Ersoy, de son vrai nom Bülent Erkoç, né le 9 juin 1952, est une chanteuse et une actrice turque. Née homme, elle a fait l’objet d’une opération de “changement de sexe” en 1981. Il étudie au conservatoire d’Istanbul. En 1971, il sort sa première cassette chez Saner Plake. En 1974, il se produit sur scène dans le Casino Grand Maksim (Taksim). Son registre est très étendu, du Tango à la musique turque de l’Anatolie, de l’opéra jusqu’au rock’n'roll en passant par la chanson populaire … (full text).


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… Finally, in 1988, the Turkish Civil Code was revised so that men who completed gender reassignment surgery could apply for a pink identity card by which they were legally recognized as female. Ersoy soon returned to singing and acting, quickly becoming even more popular as a woman than she had been as a man. Her public even took to calling her “Abla,” or “big sister,” an affectionate sign of their total acceptance of her gender. Despite her personal victory and the love and acceptance of her fans, Bülent Ersoy has continued to court controversy. Critics noted that in a film in which Bülent plays a cancer patient who falls in love, she never kisses her leading man, though this probably had less to do with Bülent’s being a transsexual than the fact that she does not like to kiss because she is highly germ phobic. On her 1995 album, Alaturka, she sang the traditional call to prayer as part of the piece, “Aziz Istanbul,” an act which, because of her transsexual status, angered many Muslim clerics. In 1998, a further storm of controversy was created when Bülent married her companion, Cem Adler. Interestingly, the public outrage that resulted had nothing to do with Bülent’s transsexual status and everything to do with the fact her husband was over twenty years younger than she was! Bülent Ersoy was badly injured in January of 1999 in an auto accident while driving with her husband, but recovered after surgery. Later that year, she divorced Adler after learning of his tryst with a call girl. Now semi-retired, she continues to enjoy the love and adoration of her many fans. (full text).


List of Turkish pop music performers;

Music of Turkey;


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