Turkish public figures and social media users have condemned Pantene Turkey over a “lifetime honour” award granted to Turkish singer İbrahim Tatlıses, a rags-to-riches superstar, who has raised eyebrows for decades over his sexist remarks and violent treatment of women.
The 69-year-old former actor and recording artist on Sunday was awarded the “Lifetime Honour Award’’ in Istanbul at the 47th Pantene Golden Butterfly Awards, which is a nod to the country’s top names in the fields of cinema, television and music.
Lawmaker with Turkey’s Workers’ Party Barış Atay condemned the move honouring Tatlıses, who has a long record of violence against partners and derogatory statements against women.
“(This award) must have been given with the hopes that he maintains the slightest bit of honour at one point in his life,’’ Atay Twitter. “There can be no other explanation for this.
Women’s rights group Women’s Councils (Kadın meclisleri) said the award given to someone like Tatlıses, who is guilty of violence against women is a way of legitimising such violence.
“Brands should grasp concepts such as gender equity and violence against women instead of claiming to be an inspiration to women,’’ the group in statement on Twitter, addressing the Proctor and Gamble hair care brand.
The singer of Kurdish origin has gone on record to say that while he respects women, he also does not hesitate to “beat them,” and is has been either linked to or has openly admitted to physically assaulting on a number of his former partners, including actress Perihan Savaş, actress Derya Tuna and dancer Asena. The latter two were shot in the same foot.
“What exactly are we honouring as society here?’’ actress Sedef Avcı wrote on Instagram along with the hashtag “No to violence against women” (Kadına Şiddete Hayır).
A number of women on Twitter called for a boycott of Pantene’s products.
“Pantene, which has awarded a man who beats and has women shot is like garbage to me now,’’ one social media user said.
Pantene Turkey on Tuesday issued a statement on Instagram in response to the backlash over Tatlıses’ award. The company said they maintained firm stance on women’s rights and that women comprised half of the jury who elected the singer as the recipient of the award.