Turkish gov’t ally far-right Islamist party targets LGBTI+ community in municipal election campaign

In a new hate speech targeting the LGBTI+ community, the Turkish government’s far-right ally YRP shared a campaign video for municipal elections, saying “If there is no morality, there is LGBT.”

The New Welfare Party (YRP) adopting the slogan of "Moral municipalism" in the campaign video targeting the LGBTI+ community.

Duvar English

The Turkish government’s far-right ally New Welfare Party (YRP) on Jan. 24 shared a campaign video for local elections, targeting the LGBTI+ community in the country.

In the video, the party said “If there is no morality, there is LGBT.”

“We will drive deviant organizations out of our city. Moral municipalism is discernment,” it added.

The YRP currently has five parliamentary seats out of 600.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (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.

During the general and presidential election campaign in 2023, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his AKP and its allies adopted an increasingly targeting anti-LGBTI+ rhetoric. 

The local elections are scheduled for March 31, 2024.