They represented Turkey at Eurovision 2004 in Istanbul with the song “For Real“, sending a message of peace through ska rock.
And last week Athena proved they’ve still got the X Factor all these years later with the release of their new single “Ses Etme” (Don’t make a sound).
The visually arresting video tells the story of a Turkish drag queen and her day-to-day highs (party in the parking lot) and lows (getting attacked in an alley). Yes, there are places where love is a crime….
When the video came out on October 4, the television council of Turkey (RTUK) banned it from TV, citing its rule that prohibits “sexually explicit” programming.
And the YouTube comments had to be de-activated because of all the unsavoury, anti-LGBT comments, proving just how sensitive and divisive the topic of the LGBT community remains in Turkey.
Gökhan Gökcek, the drag queen who stars in the video, is a friend of the group’s bassist Umut Arabaci.
She told GZONE that the video is worth all the drama it’s caused. She said:
“We didn’t want to make something simple. It is not esoteric. ‘Ses Etme’ is for everyone. We wanted to send a message and I think we did it. We filmed this video for homophobic families, and because of the violence and hate for LGBT people in Turkey.”
“Ses Etme” has recorded around 2.5 million views in the first ten days of release. It also set the record for the most views in a single day for any Turkish video on YouTube.