Turkish Family Ministry dubs book 'detrimental' for including gay characters

Turkey's Family Ministry added the teen book series "Heartstopper" to a list of detrimental publications in the country, the Official Gazette reported on Sep. 8, saying that the content might affect minors' morality, presumably due to the book's inclusion of gay characters.

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Turkey's Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry dubbed the teen graphic novel series "Heartstopper" by Alice Oseman to be "detrimental," the Official Gazette reported on Sep. 8, most likely because of the work's inclusion of gay characters.

A story about two friends, one of whom is openly gay at the beginning of the book series, Heartstopper was even bought by Netflix to be adapted into a series. 

The ministry decision noted that the books had the potential to detrimentally affect young adults' moralities, and enforced restrictions on the content. 

The regulation to protect minors from detrimental works, Law 3266 foresees the branding of said works to be harmful, and forbids their sale in visible media. 

The Turkish government has been mounting pressures on the LGBTQI+ community over the past years, most recently withdrawing from Istanbul Convention which sanctions women's rights on the grounds that it encouraged homosexuality by protecting "all genders' rights."