Turkey Bans All LGBTI events in Ankara to ‘Protect Public Security’

Attribution: Jordy91 at English Wikipedia

Turkey has prohibited all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex (LGBTI) rights groups in Ankara, its capital city.

The office of the governor of Ankara stated that the said ban had been imposed in order to protect “public security.”

Last Saturday, the restrictions came into effect and will continue for an “indefinite” period, and it will apply to all LGBTI theatres, film screenings, exhibitions, and panels.

The office of the governor claimed that such events might provoke animosity between different groups and put “health and morality” in danger, as well as the rights and freedoms of other people.

It warned that some groups might be aggravated by LGBTI events and take action against participants because of “certain social sensitivities.”

Not like many Muslim countries, homosexuality is not considered as a crime in Turkey, and various LGBTI associations are registered with the state legally. However, there is widespread hostility, and some rights activists say that LGBTI people experience discrimination and stigma.

The government of Ankara’s announcement will possibly deepen concern regarding civil liberties under the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

On Wednesday, authorities in Ankara had already prohibited a German gay film festival, the day before it was scheduled to start, citing terrorism risks and public safety.

For the past two years, gay pride parades have been banned in Istanbul.

In June, twenty-five (25) supporters of LGBTI rights were placed under arrest after attending a Pride march that was banned. They were later accused of participating in an unauthorised demonstration.

The local government of Istanbul had banned the march at the last minute on the grounds that “it might lead to provocative actions and disrupt the public order.”

Earlier this month, President Erdogan accused the main opposition party of moving away from the moral values of the country after a small opposition-run district established a quota for LGBTI candidates that are running for election to a neighbourhood committee.

The Turkish leader, a devout Muslim, said that the Republican People’s Party, the pro-secular main opposition, or CHP, would discover “the lesson they deserve” at an election in 2019.

“We have no business with those who have declared war on the people’s values,” said the Erdogan.