• Associated Press

Thousands march in Turkey to demand ban on LGBTQ groups


Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding a banner that reads: "We will not give way to those who wage war on the family", in the Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

An anti-LGBTQ group marched Sunday in Istanbul, demanding that LGBTQ associations be shuttered and their activities banned, in the largest demonstration of its kind in Turkey.


Several thousand people joined the demonstration dubbed “The Big Family Gathering.” Kursat Mican, a speaker for the organizers, said they had gathered more than 150,000 signatures to demand a new law from Turkey’s parliament that would ban what they called LGBTQ propaganda, which they say pervades Netflix, social media, arts and sports.


Hatice Muge, who works as a nanny, came to the gathering from Bursa province.


“People are here despite the rain for their children, for future generations,” she said, urging the Turkish government to take action. “They should save the family, they should save the children from this filth.”


The group held banners that read: “Protecting the family is a national security issue.”

Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding Turkish flags and banners that read, " Say stop to the non gendered society project", " The family is our civilization's foundation, protecting family is a national security issue" and " Protect your family and generation from global fan", during a anti LGBTI+ protest, in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

LGBTQ parades have not been allowed in Turkey since 2015.


Ahead of Sunday’s demonstration, the organizers circulated a video using images from past LGBTQ Pride marches in Turkey. The video was included in the public service announcement list of Turkey’s media watchdog.


The video and the demonstration prompted an outcry from LGBTQ associations and other rights groups. The organizers of Istanbul Pride called on the governor’s office to ban the event and authorities to take down the video, arguing both were hateful.

Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding Turkish flags during a anti LGBTI+ protest, in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

ILGA Europe, which works for LGBTQ equality, tweeted it was extremely concerned about the risks of violence.


“The Turkish state needs to uphold its constitutional obligation to protect all its citizens against hate and violence,” it said.


Amnesty International’s Turkey office said public service announcements listing the event violated Turkey’s equality and non-discrimination principles.


Top Turkish officials have called LGBTQ people “perverts” who aim to hurt traditional family values.

Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding Turkish flags during a anti LGBTI+ protest, in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding banners that read, " Say no to the imposition of LGBT for humanity and children", " Say stop to those who try to take away their grandchildren's right to life" during a anti LGBTI+ protest, in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

Turkish demonstrators stage a anti LGBTI+ protest , in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

Turkish demonstrators hold banners that reads, " Law for the development of the spirit and moral"and " LGBT, remove your dirty hand from our children" during a anti LGBTI+ protest in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

Turkish demonstrators holding Turkish flags attend a anti LGBTI+ protest in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding Turkish flags during a anti LGBTI+ protest in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

Turkish demonstrators chant slogans while holding Turkish flags during a anti LGBTI+ protest, in Fatih district of Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. [AP Photo | Khalil Hamra]

 

(c) 2022, Associated Press

https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-turkey-gay-rights-istanbul-b06a40c70ae701eab6ce9912e0b632dc

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