Several thousand people have taken part in an anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration in Istanbul, calling for LGBTQ+ associations to be closed down and displaying signs that read: “protect your family and your generation”, “Say no to society without gender”, and “Father + mother + baby = family”.
Kursat Mican, a speaker for the event, claimed organisers received 150,000 signatures on a petition calling for a ban on what they called LGBTQ+ “propaganda” in social media, sports, arts and Netflix.
An advert for the anti-LGBTQ+ march was also shown on television after gaining the approval of the country’s broadcasting council, which deemed it as “public interest”.
The country’s largest anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration was criticised by human rights organisations.
ILGA Europe, an organisation fighting for LGBTQ+ equality in Europe and Central Asia, tweeted: “The Turkish state needs to uphold its constitutional obligation to protect all its citizens against hate and violence”.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International’s Turkish office said public service announcements advertising the march violated Turkey’s non-discrimination principles.
LGBTQ+ parades and events have been banned in Turkey for years reflecting the increasingly hard-line Islamist policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.