Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/vhosts/artandeducation.net/httpdocs/content/hylex.inc.php on line 246 Activists Decry Ban on LGBTI Events in Istanbul - News - Art & Education
search

Activists Decry Ban on LGBTI Events in Istanbul

ISTANBUL, TURKEY—A week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described empowering gay people as being “against the values of our nation,” Kareem Shaheen reports in the Guardian that human rights groups are condemning a ban on LGBTI events in the Turkish capital as illegal and discriminatory. The Ankara governor’s office released a statement yesterday which declared it was imposing a ban on all LGBTI cultural events until further notice, citing threats to “public order” and the fear of “provoking reactions within certain segments of society.” The scope of the restriction extends to films, plays, exhibitions, panels, and other events in an effort to protect “public order and public health and morals.” The office’s announcement comes just days after the government also prevented a festival on German-language gay films from taking place in the city. 

This prohibitive measure is only the latest development in a series of attempts by the president’s Justice and Development (AK) party to curtail the activities of Turkey’s LGBTI rights movement. The annual Istanbul gay pride parade was canceled for the third year in a row this year, on security grounds, and last week Erdoğan condemned his main political opposition bloc, the Republican People’s party (CHP), for a plan that would supposedly introduce a “gay quota” for employees in a local municipality.

“There can be no legitimate or legal grounds for such a wholesale ban that touches the core of rights,” said Pembe Hayat and Kaos GL, two Ankara-based LGBTI organizations, in a statement following the announcement of the measure, adding that the general and open-ended nature of the ban risks “criminalizing LGBTI existence.” Their statement went on to add: “With this announcement the civil administration is endangering public safety by turning LGBTIs and civil society organizations, who are an important part of the public, into targets instead of fulfilling its duty to ensure public security.”

Homosexuality was legalized in the Ottoman empire during the mid-nineteenth century and has been legal since the creation of the modern Turkish republic in 1923. However, LGBTI individuals in the country frequently complain of being subject to a range of mistreatment, including harassment, abuse, and rape as well as general animosity. 

Homosexuality was legalized in the Ottoman empire during the mid-nineteenth century and has been legal since the creation of the modern Turkish republic in 1923. However, LGBTI individuals in the country frequently complain of being subject to a range of mistreatment, including harassment, abuse, and rape as well as general animosity. 

Ad

November 21, 2017