Turkish state TV spends taxpayer money to spread anti-LGBTI+ propaganda

Turkish state television’s international broadcaster TRT World will release a digital series named “True Colors” to “reveal the truths about the spread of gender ideology and the LGBT lobby.” The channel representatives used highly defamatory discourse against the LGBTI+ community to introduce the series based on far-right conspiracy theories.

Duvar English

TRT World, English-medium version of Turkey's public broadcaster, on Feb. 8 announced that it would soon release an exclusive digital series titled “True Colors” “to explore the untold stories of those who have been affected by the spread of gender ideology and the LGBT lobby.”

The public broadcaster funded by the taxpayers released a highly dramatic trailer for its so-called documentary where several Western figures spread hate against the LGBTI+ community.

While all speakers used highly defamatory discourse against the community, one person equated LGBTI+ individuals “with pedophiles preying on young children,” another used “totalitarianism” to define the so-called “gender ideology.”

The primary theme of the documentary appeared to be the notion that "the LGBTI+ movement was imported from the West," portraying the defense of LGBTI+ rights as a "highly profitable sector" operating under the guise of "lobbying."

The same discourse have been used by the far-right Western groups, particularly in the United Kingdom and United States, mostly based their ideas on conspiracy theories for years.

İbrahim Uslu, the vice president of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), quoted the trailer of the documentary on X, “‘True Colors’ explores the untold stories of those affected by the spread of gender ideology and the LGBT lobby.”

Turkish government has escalated its attacks against the LGBTI+ community particularly in the recent years and instrumentalized RTÜK to control media to suppress any kind of “good” LGBTI+ representation while allowing to spread hate speech.

TRT World Broadcasting Coordinator Selman Tecim and TRT Board Member Hilal Kaplan also continued to spread hatred in their quotes on the documentary.

Kaplan said, "A very important documentary is on its way to fight this deviant ideology originating from the West in the international arena; with the signature of TRT World."

All Turkish public institutions and employees are binded by the constitution to not discriminate any citizens while conducting their duties. 

Nonetheless, from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to low level public employees, the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) bureaucrats have been attacking LGBTI+ community using highly derogatory terms such as "viruses" or "deviants."

Throughout the 2023, the government banned nearly all events organized by the LGBTI+ community and sent police forces to detain and batter those attended.