Turkey's anti-evolutionist showgirls

An Islamist fringes wraps its hard anti-Darwin message in skin-tight Versace, drag-queen make-up and po-mo posing

Adnan-Oktar-Kızları

The Dutch artists Pinar & Viola’s practice is concerned with radical surface and new totalitarian decadence. Under this Blog, they report on the emerging digital folklore from the wilds of the net. 

For November, we briefly present a female creationist ensemble from Turkey. These girls have proven that Islam, sexual objectification, passion, belief, tabloidization, manipulation, anti-Darwin and Versace can come together. Five Turkish bombshells, they are often referred as the girls, angels or kitten of Adnan Oktar, a self-taught Islamic preacher who gained respect for his fervent Creationist teachings. He presents his beliefs as a reformed and urbanized versions of Islam, where he clearly states Muslims, Christians and Jews should unite against the corrupting influence of Darwinism. He is also the author of the books Atlas of Creation Quadriology, an anti-evolution, Islamic-saga bouillabaisse. It displays a stunning ignorance of basic biology, and 6 legged humans skeleton visualizations are among the arguments that are employed to contradict Darwin.

This fabulous five consists of Gülşah Güçyetmez, Ceylan Özbudak, Ebru Altan, Damla Pamir and Aylin Kocaman. They are the bewildering accessories of the TV Show Adnan Oktar Chat Time at the religious channel A9. Every night these blazing women come together with the Islamic Creation packmaster Mr. Oktar. They hold discussions about Islam, pseudo-insta-fossils discrediting evolution and their favorite topic: Mr. Oktar.

This surreal set-up might be hard to grasp for a non-Turkish person. (One half of Pinar&Viola is Turkish). These woman contradict the terrorized image of Muslims used in the global press, while going completely against all the hardwork feminist activists have been battling over the years. While the restrictive state of Turkish journalism grows into a national shame, scandal and sensation still makes up a huge part of the Turkish media. Five voluptuous ladies with a combination of Zentai-tight, now-in-style Versace garments and make-up capable of making drag queens jealous, rubbing shoulders with religious sisterhood, and many references to history's matriarchs.

These five women state they behave following the ethics of Kur'an, where it's written the ones Allah guides look alike, as a reaction to questions regarding their similar looks. All of these girls have their own individual social media stardoms where they make loud manifestations adding to their media attention.

It's not the first time that sensationalism, lies and cheap entertainment have been used to boost the ratings of a TV program, especially not in Turkey. That's why the educated, intellectual, secular part of the Turkish population became completely immune to this first-degree propaganda. Their solution is simple, and troublesome – make fun of it. 

Pinar & Viola are two Dutch post-internet artists whose work explores new totalitarian impluses and the decadence of global culture through what they call "ecstatic surface design". We interviewed them last issue, and after they helped with our Frieze coverage for us, they'll be blogging about digital folk art and 2.013 culture here.

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