Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week ended with online events and the online pride march on June 28. Statements by public authorities targeting LGBTI+s as well as hate speech and discrimination in the media and social media were quite frequent during Pride Week.
Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) with President Erdoğan’s daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan in the executive board targeted the 28th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week and shared photos of the War of Independence, July 15 Coup Attempt and Palestine, saying, “This is the real Pride March.”
Istanbul-based Muslim Brothers’ channel Watan TV called to “kill all homosexuals.” Hala Samir spoke on the channel and presented methods on “how to kill homosexual.” “They must be burned alive” and “lesbianism is also banned in accordance with the Islamic rule,” he said.
Turkish Red Crescent Chairman Kerem Kınık spoke on the online 28th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week and said, “We will not let the pride of humanity be trampled. We will protect nature and the mental health of our children. We will fight whoever disrupts healthy creation, shows whatever is abnormal as normal and teaches pedophilic dreams as modernity to young minds. There can be no such thing!” International Federation of Red Cross – Red Crescent (IFRC) reprimanded Kınık’s words due to involving homophobia and hatred. Kınık is also the IFRC Deputy Chairman. The statement made said, “The opinions presented by Kınık doesn’t represent the thoughts of IFRC. The expressions of Kınık are not only wrong, but they offend all of us. IFRC has an ethical rule that is binding for all workers and representatives, including the Deputy Chairman – that bans all kinds of homophobia, hate speech or prejudice. We are currently evaluating our next step.”
Presidential Communication Director Fahrettin Altun, on the other hand, protected Kınık. In his speech targeting the LGBTI+s, Altun said, “LGBT propaganda is a big threat against freedom of expression. International Federation of Red Cross – Red Crescent complied with the attack targeting Ekrem Kınık. We will not be silenced.”
Lastly, President Erdoğan spread hatred as well. Without using the expression “LGBTI+s” or “Pride March,” he said, “We will not let go of our fight, until we reach our target of a great and strong Turkey. Some people are again, sneakily attacking our national and moral values. Normalizing deviancies that were cursed throughout human history, they are after poisoning young minds. Those who support such marginal trends that are against our beliefs and culture are accomplices to the same deviancy, in our eyes. There is no chance for any wrong belief that is cursed by the people to remain in this country. Turkey has the power to fight against all attacks targeting its national and moral structure. I invite my nation to be careful against all deviancies that were banned by our God and to stand against them.”