Duvar English

The head of Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Ali Erbaş, has once again targeted LGBT individuals, claiming that “Homosexuality brings with it illnesses.”

Erbaş made the comments on April 24 while holding a sermon on the first day of Ramadan.

“Islam accepts adultery as one of the biggest sins [haram]. It curses homosexuality. What is the reason of that? The reason is that it brings with it illnesses and decay to lineage,” Erbaş said during the sermon, which was also aired on Diyanet TV.

“Every year, thousands of people are exposed to HIV virus caused by this big sin – committing adultery, living out of wedlock, whose name is ‘unchastity’ in Islam literature. Let’s take an action together to protect people from these evils,” Erbaş said.

Last year, Erbaş had similarly used his platform to stoke homophobia in the country. Just a week after a gay pride march in Istanbul on June 30, 2019, Erbaş told a conference that the “concept of accepting homosexuality” contradicts the creation process because “women will no longer want to be mothers and men will no longer want to be fathers.”

Declaring the same-sex relations as “heresy” and “propaganda,” he told the attendees at the conference that “It is the duty of all of us to educate, raise awareness, and protect our children and young people against deviant understandings.”