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Turkey slams French song mocking Istanbul New Year attack

AFP , Thursday 19 Jan 2017
Views: 1920
Views: 1920

Turkey's TV regulator has criticised a French singer who satirised the bloody New Year attack on an Istanbul nightclub, state media reported Thursday.

Just 75 minutes into 2017, a lone gunman attacked the elite Reina nightclub killing 39 people. The Islamic State group later took responsibility.

In a letter to his French counterpart, Ilhan Yerlikaya, the head of Turkey's audiovisual authority RTUK, condemned as "disturbing" a song by Frederic Fromet, a satirical French singer, the official Anadolu news agency reported.

On January 6, on France Inter radio, Fromet sang a song to the tune of the Macarena which included these lyrics: "An attack in Nice is real agony, an attack in Berlin, ah yeah, it's concerning, an attack in Istanbul is cooler, Reina!"

Writing to Olivier Schrameck, head of the Superior Council of Audiovisual (Content) which regulates French broadcasters, Yerlikaya said the French public would be just as outraged if a similar song was written about the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris, in which 130 people died.

France Inter boss Laurence Bloch, on the company website, tried to explain that Fromet's song was "black humour," used as a safety valve and not intended to hurt.

"We have used it a lot on our station even when we ourselves were struck by horror," she said, referring to the string of terror attacks that have struck France since January 2015.

In a January 15 statement on Facebook written in Turkish and French, Fromet said he was "saddened" by those who misunderstood what he called a message of friendship.

"In my song, I was condemning the (feelings) of 'not being affected' by the Turkish attack 'because it is far from France'," he said.

Fromet added that wherever terror comes from, he always felt "complete solidarity" with the victims and their relatives.

Fromet has in fact mocked in another song the types of trendy people who go to the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people died in the November 2015 attacks.

His brand of humour is something of a French tradition, similar to that of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, whose cartoons and commentaries have earned it a legion of enemies.

Charlie Hebdo became a target of Islamist extremists in January 2015 after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, seen as an act of blasphemy by many Muslims.

It has also delighted in outraging the Vatican and the French political establishment.

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