Popular Turkish singer and trans woman, Bulent Ersoy, better known as ‘Diva’, and her 21-member entourage and musicians appeared in court on Sunday after trying to enter the north of the island with fake PCR tests.

Each was bailed for around 1,000 euros. They had been arrested after the concert they were slated to give in the north at a hotel casino on Saturday.

According to reports from the north, when the group arrived at Tymbou (Ercan) airport it was discovered their PVR tests were forgeries.

They all had to undergo testing and all were found negative for Covid.

They were allowed to go ahead with the concert under the supervision of police as people had paid to see them. Afterwards, all 22 were arrested.

Turkish Cypriot press reports said people were angered that Turkish artists were allowed to perform in hotels and casinos while local artists were excluded.

Ersoy, 69, whose genre is Turkish classical music began her career as a male singer who studied at Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. Already popular, she caused a stir by undergoing gender reassignment surgery in the UK in 1981.

This earned her, and other transgender artists in Turkey a ban on performing under the government of Kenan Evren who came to power under the 1980 coup.

Ersoy took the matter to court in an attempt to be legally recognised as a woman but lost. She then left Turkey for Germany and forged a music and film career there until the Evren policies were rescinded when he left office in 1989.