Turkey's Justice Ministry defended in court the prosecution of Boğaziçi University students over an art piece depicting Pride flags at the Muslim holy site of Kaaba by saying that homosexuality was "haram" in Islam, Deutsche Welle reported on Aug. 18.
Two Boğaziçi students, Selahattin Can Uğuzeş and Doğu Demirtaş, were arrested for an art piece that depicted the rainbow Pride flag next to a picture of Kaaba, and the piece was laid on the ground, which the Justice Ministry said was a "hostile act that provoked hatred and animosity" and created an explicit threat to public safety.
Arrested student Uğuzeş appealed his prosecution at the Constitutional Court on the grounds that his rights to personal freedom and safety were violated with his detention.
Noting that homosexuality was haram, sinful, in Islam, a defense from the Justice Ministry claimed that the students' detention was legally founded as they were guilty of "encouraging animosity and hatred in the public" that is majority Muslim, alongside "insults."
"It's established in the investigation that the image and writings in question created a concrete threat to public order," the defense said. "The conclusion [is] that probation would have been insufficient."
Once again basing the legal measures on the fact that the Turkish public is majority Muslim, the Justice Ministry claimed that the students' depiction of the mystical creature Shahmaran was in violation of the Muslim monotheistic belief.
The manipulated image of Kaaba is conducive to creating animosity toward the Muslim portion of the public, and allows for the fortification of such animosity, the defense added.