Turkish President Says 'There’s no Such Thing as LGBT' | 22 Words

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has come under fire this week for his infammatory comments regarding the LGBTQ+ community.

However, this isn't the first time he's revealed his problematic stance on the matter.

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Keep scrolling to hear what he had to say...

Now, this news has come as liberation was just on the horizon for Turkish members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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While political expression of LGBTQ+ identity has always been problematic in Turkey, homosexuality has typically been tolerated.

Turkey's gay rights movement took shape in the '90s...

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With the country actually becoming an important stop for LGBTQ+ refugees from across the Middle East - it has provided a temporary haven for as many as two-thousand from Iran alone.

Erdogan himself pledged to protect gay rights before his party came to power in 2002...

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And subsequently introduced some measures against discrimination.

However, his stance on the matter has since soured.

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Since coming into power, President Erdogan and his far-right party has enforced a number of rules, regulations, and ideologies that are incredibly harmful to the LGBTQ+ community.

For example...

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Gay-rights and pride marches, which used to be normal and widely celebrated in the country, are now almost all banned or met with police violence.

The government's homophobia and anti-gay rhetoric is now considered "normal"...

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With the president regularly slandering LGBTQ+ youth and accusing them of vandalism.

And, in July 2020, the president accused LGBTQ+ activists of undermining Turkey's "national and spiritual values"...

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Before claiming that they were "poisoning" young people.

Not so long ago, Erdogan suggested that gay people are perverts...

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A senior public health official compared them to pedophiles, while the top imam warned that they spread disease.

But Erodgan's latest comments could possibly be the worst yet.

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His comments were made after 4 students in Istanbul were arrested over artwork that reportedly combined LGBTQ+ symbols such as the rainbow flag with an image of the Kaaba in Mecca, one of the holiest sites among those of Islamic faith.

People are not impressed...

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It all started when Erdogan spoke of the recent arrests in a video broadcast to AK Party members on Monday, February 1st.

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"We will carry our young people to the future, not as the LGBT youth, but as the youth that existed in our nation's glorious past."

His speech continued:

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"You are not the LGBT youth, not the youth who commit acts of vandalism. On the contrary, you are the ones who repair broken hearts."

But, speaking dismissively of members of the LGBTQ+ community just days later on Wednesday, February 3rd as per SBS News, Erdogan doubled down on his previous comments:

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"The LGBT, there is no such thing. This country is… Moral, and it will walk to the future with these values."

He is yet to address or follow up on this comment.

For more LGBTQ+ news, scroll on...