MHP leader Bahçeli: One cannot identify as man if they approve of LGBT

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said one cannot call themselves "a man" if they think that "LGBT doesn't hurt the institution of the family." Bahçeli has been deploying hate speech against Turkey's queer community for a while now, presenting the minority as a terrorist organization.

Riot police clash with a group of Pride march demonstrators on June 30, 2019.

Duvar English

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said that one cannot identify themselves as "a man" if they do not think that "LGBT hurts the institution of the family."

Bahçeli's remarks were in response to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who said on Haber Global broadcast on April 9 that the LGBT community has "nothing to do with [the Turkish institution of the family]," directly opposing the homophobic rhetoric carried out by the government. 

"Someone who responds to the question of 'Does LGBT hurt the Turkish institution of the family?' by saying 'It has nothing to do with it,' has no right to speak of nationalism or of emotional values, or to walk around saying 'I'm a man,'" Bahçeli said during a speech on April 13, using a misogynistic expression that also implies integrity as a human being in the Turkish language. 

Bahçeli has been deploying an increasing amount of hate speech against the country's queer community in recent months, dubbing the minority a terrorist organization called 'LGBT-I.'

Bahçeli also urged Kılıçdaroğlu to "get dressed up in colors of the rainbow and to carry on with his protest, his business."

Kılıçdaroğlu was dubbed "an honorary member of the LGBT family" by a group of activists who read a statement in front of the CHP headquarters on April 10. 

Bahçeli also responded to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's statement that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was a "dictator," saying that Turkey had never produced a dictator like Adolf Hitler or Francisco Franco.

Draghi had dubbed Erdoğan a dictator after sofagate, a recent seating scandal that left European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen without a chair at talks in Ankara.