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Turkey's capital city bans all LGBT events

Turkey's capital, Ankara fears anti-LGBT violence and therefore has suspended any LGBT events indefinitely.
Photo credit:
EurasiaTimes

Turkey’s capital city Ankara has banned all LGBT Pride events, including film screenings, theatre shows and exhibitions. This is an effort, city officials say, to protect “public security."

The restrictions went into effect on Saturday for an “Indefinite” period.

The governor’s office claims that if LGBT events were allowed, they would ultimately cause other groups to take action against them because of certain “social sensitivities.”

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, and there are several organizations legally registered with the state. However many rights group say they are still stigmatized and discriminated against which brings into question civil liberties under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A German LGBT film festival was canceled at the last minute in Ankara, citing safety risks and terrorism concerns. Organizers of that festival say the cancellation deprives them of their constitutional rights under the guise of “protection.”

Istanbul has had a similar ban in effect for two years. In June they banned a Pride march and arrested those who attended for participating in an unauthorized demonstration.

President Erdogan has often been ridiculed for his conservative leadership, but maybe playing both sides for political gain. 

In 2016 authorities banned a Trans Pride event, saying there were security concerns.

Many transgender folks took to the streets in protest, getting shot with rubber bullets and tear gas as Erdogan dined with Turkey's most recognized LGBT celebrity Bülent Ersoy.  

Homophobia remains a serious issue in Turkey: A 2011 World Values Survey found that 84% of Turkish respondents did not want to have LGBT neighbors.