US pop singer Mariah Carey will be the cover model for the first issue of a new free magazine for Turkey's LGBTI community which comes out tomorrow. The Hurriyet Daily reports that Carey was enthusiastic about being a part of the project when contacted by staff at GayMag magazine.
An interview with Turkish actress and singer Hulya Avsar also appears in the first issue and staff at GayMag are confident that other Turkish celebrities will want to appear in the magazine in future issues. GayMag editor-in-chief Emir Akgun told the Hurriyet Daily that he hoped to raise the profile of the LGBTI community in Turkey through the magazine.
"We want to break all of the taboos, but step by step," Akgun said. "It's like everybody was waiting for it for a long time. It is completely normal that there are people against it, though there will certainly be people who like it. We are not reinventing the wheel, the publication of GayMag is itself a big step to break taboos in the first place."
The magazine has secured sponsorship from a dating app which will cover the costs of its first 12 months of printing and it will be available through D&R stores across Turkey. LGBTI themed publications have been controversial with Turkish authorities in the past and an issue of Kaos GL magazine was banned in 2006 because it was deemed to be "pornographic".
Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since 1858 though it is widely frowned upon and there is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships in the country.
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