Anti-LGBTI+ groups step up attacks under Turkish gov’t protection

While government officials have banned nearly all LGBTI+ events in Turkey, anti-LGBTI+ groups on June 17 stepped up attacks under government protection. They tried to attack İzmir Bar Association’s pride month breakfast while the police did not intervene. At the same time, the anti-LGBTI+ platform organized a press statement full of hate speech at the Culture Ministry’s museum in Istanbul.

Anti-LGBTI+ groups hold a banner reading, "Izmir Bar Association cannot be a tool for LGBT propaganda."

Duvar English

While the Turkish government’s crackdown on the country’s LGBTI+ country has accelerated during June and banned nearly all events in the country organized by the marginalized community, several anti-LGBTI+ groups on June 17 took the stage in several incidents. 

The nationalist Patriotic Party, Youth Union of Turkey (TGB), Grey Wolves, Republican Women’s Association, and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Youth Branch on June 17 attempted to attack the breakfast event organized by the Izmir Bar Association within the scope of Pride Week. The group gathered during the event, made a press statement, and threatened the people who came to the breakfast by raising Islamic slogans. 

Lawyers reacted against the riot police for not dispersing the group. The police on June 3 attacked Izmir Bar Association with pepper spray over a press statement for LGBTI+ rights. 

The same group on June 16 also organized a protest in front of the Ankara Bar Association because of a pride month event.

In addition, several anti-LGBTI+ groups that have been collaborating under “Big Family Meetings” since last year made a press conference at Culture Ministry’s Atlas Cinema Museum in Istanbul. Many Islamist and nationalist groups that came together under the platform stated, “We will always be vigilant against the elements that corrupt the family.” 

The platform claimed that “global forces” have been trying to impose “LGBTI+ propaganda” on every sector and try to “deviate children.”

Anti-LGBTI+ group "Big Family Platform" makes a press conference at Culture Ministry's museum.

On the other hand, Denizli Metropolitan Mayorship on June 17 canceled the concerts of Mabel Matiz and Melike Şahin organized by private companies in the province. Both singers have been under attack after their speeches at some award ceremonies supporting LGBTI+ and women's rights. 

Particularly since 2022, Islamist groups have been collaborating with secular Kemalists against Turkey's LGBTI+ community. Even though both groups have been against each other since the foundation of the republic, they have been united under LGBTI+ hatred.