Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Nov. 12 called the LGBTI+ community as "propaganda of a terrorist organization."
“There is cultural terrorism. The propaganda of a terrorist organization, which tries to make people forget their values, their religion, unity, parental love and family loyalty. It is exactly Europe's policy, exactly America's policy of divide and rule,” Soylu said while speaking to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members in the northwestern province of Bilecik.
“What will happen? They will bring LGBT to Turkey. Forgive me, men will marry men, women will marry women. It just suits (main opposition CHP leader) Kılıçdaroğlu. What a shame. It lacks all values. They are trying to create a policy based on an understanding that will alter almost all of our values so that they can win the hearts of the Europeans and the West,” Soylu further said.
The LGBTI+ community is often targeted by hate speech of government officials who call them “perverted”, and the crimes committed against them go unpunished. Many LGBTI+ individuals say that the country is getting more and more difficult to live in.
The AKP has had a particularly firm stance against LGBTI+ communities since the Gezi Park protests of 2013 and the coup attempt of 2016. The annual LGBTI+ pride parade in Istanbul and other major Turkish cities has been banned since 2016, and those that have marched regardless have been met with police violence.
Lately, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for a constitutional amendment on the right to wear headscarf and family issues.
"The concept of family is indispensable for us. Because a strong nation comes from a strong family. Lately they have introduced LGBT into society, trying to degenerate our family structure," Erdoğan said on Oct. 7.
Erdoğan stated that this constitutional amendment will protect families from what he called "perverse trends,” targeting LGBTI+ groups. “Family consists of the union of man and woman,” he claims.