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Turkish City Places Indefinite Ban on Public LGBTQ Events

The capital city of Ankara in Turkey has placed a ban on public LGBTQ events indefinitely, citing concerns about safety when it is really about the preservation of conservative “moral values.”

According to Jezebel, The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reported that the statement made by the governor claims that such activities risk “posing an open and imminent danger.”

“Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, considering public sensitivities, any events such as LGBT … cinema, theater performances, panels, interviews and exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province, in order to provide peace and security,” the Ankara Governor’s Office stated on Nov. 19.

“It has been found out from various social media and some written and visual media organs that a number of activities of cinema, theater, panel, interview, exhibition, etc. were planned in different parts of our province by various NGOs under the name of LGBTT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transvestite) as well as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex),” it added.

“A part of society with different qualities in terms of social class, race, religion, sect, or region could therefore explicitly incite another part [of the society] to grudges and enmity, posing an open and imminent danger in terms of public safety,” the statement also said.

Ankara already banned a German gay film festival that was supposed to take place on November 15th, because it was a potential “terror risk.” These actions have caught the attention of the Human Rights Campaign who published a tweet highlighting the huge injustice taking place.

While homosexuality is not illegal Turkey, it is met with hostility, which led to Pride parades being prohibited in Istanbul for the last two years. Additionally, Jezebel reports that “in 2016 and 2017, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of people who gathered to celebrate despite the ban; this year, at least 41 people were detained.” This is part of Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, tightening on civil liberties and trying to maintain “moral values” in Turkey.

(image: Flicker)

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