LGBTI events in Turkey have been banned a week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described empowering gay people as being ‘against the values of our nation’.
The Ankara governor’s office said on Sunday night that it was imposing a ban on all LGBTI cultural events until further notice due to the fear of ‘provoking reactions within certain segments of society,’ days after it banned a festival on German-language gay films in the capital.
The ban is the latest in a series of attempts by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party to curtail the activities of Turkey’s LGBTI rights movement and to impose what critics say is a public morality rooted in Islam.
The annual Istanbul gay pride parade was cancelled for the third year in a row in 2017 on security grounds, and last week Erdoğan condemned the main opposition bloc, the Republican People’s party (CHP), for a plan that would introduce a “gay quota” for employees in a local municipality.
Homosexuality has been legal since the creation of the modern Turkish republic in 1923, and was also legalised in the Ottoman empire from the mid-19th century.