01/07/2020 | Writer: Yıldız Tar
After the online LGBTI+ Pride March, public officials and journalists targeted the LGBTI+'s, and a hate campaign was launched on social media.
Photo: A rainbow flag, Istanbul
Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week ended with online events and an online honor march on June 28th. For a week, LGBTI+'s virtually gathered and experienced the pride week's glow at workshops, panels, interviews, and parties. The euphoria peaked on June 28th, with an online pride march at www.neredesinlubunya.com.
On the other hand, statements of public officials against the LGBTI+'s, hate speech and discrimination in the media and on social media also gained momentum in the Pride Week. Besides the local authorities' bans against the LGBTI+'s, the statements and practices of senior public officials targeting LGBTI+'s have become systematical. The process began with the anti-LGBTI+ Whatsapp messages of the National Education Principals on the online education chat groups, hate campaigns on social media over a non-existent gay character on Netflix, the discriminatory statement of the Radio and Television Supreme Council President, and the hate khutbah of the Religious Affairs Administration were all supported by many of ministers. This atmosphere has lingered to the Pride Week.
We have compiled anti-LGBTI+ statements and campaigns that are back on the rise on the last day of Pride Week.
Hate on social media
On the day of the June 28th Digital Pride March, the #onurhaftası (pride week) label was on the TT list in Turkey for a long time. Under this hashtag, many people, including deputies, celebrated Pride Week and March alongside some hate speech posts.
#YallahHollandaya (go back to the Netherlands) and #LGBTFaaliyetleriDurdurulsun (Stop LGBT Activities) tags were released when #onurhaftası (Pride Weel)was on the TT list. The hashtags #YallahHollandaya and #LGBTFaaliyetleriDurdurulsun, the last step of the campaigns that called for the immediate shut down of all LGBTI+ associations, remained on the TT list for a long time in the first days of the Coronavirus pandemic. Along with these tags, calls for a boycott against the companies that supported LGBTI+ rights have become widespread.
Among the accounts participating in the hate campaign, Twitter accounts were approved and had a strong influence.
Hate speech from KADEM in the middle of the night
KADEM (Women and Democracy Association), which previously targeted the LGBTI+'s with statements such as "sexual orientation is immoral, biological sex is incontestable", "Homosexuality is contradictory with the values of humanity, posted visuals from the War of Independence of Turkey, Palestine, and July 15th coup attempt demonstrations and said "We are standing with the 'pride' and rights of humans but against the imposition of homosexuality and similar movements as social norms."
"Kill the homosexuals" call from the İstanbul based Ikhwan TV channel
"Kill the homosexuals" call was made on Watan TV, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood broadcasting from Istanbul. Hala Samir also offered methods of "how to kill homosexuals", she said "they should be burned alive" and "Lesbianism is forbidden under Islamic law".
Hate from the Chairperson of Red Crescent
Red Crescent Chairperson Kerem Kınık said, "We will not let them violate the dignity of humanity. We will protect what is natural and the mental health of our children. We will fight whoever disrupts healthy creation and shows abnormal things as normal with the power of communication, and inserts pedophilic dreams to the young minds as modernity. You shall not pass!".
Reactions against the Red Crescent Chairperson Kerem Kınık's anti-LGBTI+ remarks came from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: "These statements are both wrong and offensive to us all. We condemn homophobia and all forms of hate speech and stand with LGBT+ communities around the world."
The Federation also noted that homophobia, hate speech and prejudice are banned in the Code of Work and that the next step is being assessed.
Then Kınık continued the hate speech as follows:
"I am against sexual harassment and violence against children. That's why I'm firmly opposed to pedophilia. I believe my approach is in line with the values and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement."
Chairperson of the Presidency of Turkey Directorate of Communications also supported the hatred
Chairperson of the Presidency of Turkey Directorate of Communications Fahrettin Altun also supported the hatred of Kink. "LGBT propaganda is a major threat to freedom of expression. @ifrc has partnered with the attack against @drkerem, who has dedicated his life to protecting children all over the world. We will not be silenced."
Live statement from President Erdoğan
President and AKP Leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the following on June 29th live on all TV channels after discussing changing the bar associations' system, without phrasing the words LGBTI+ or the Pride March:
"We will not stop fighting until we reach the goal of a grand and strong Turkey. Someone is attacking our national and spiritual values from the shadows again. Throughout human history, they've always been trying to poison young minds by normalizing cursed perversions. Those who support such marginal movements contrary to our faith and culture are partners in the same heresy in our eyes. There is no chance that any activity that is cursed by the people will take root in this country. Turkey also has the power to fight against the attacks targeting its national and spiritual structure. From here, I invite all my people to be careful and take a stand against all kinds of heresy, which our Lord has forbidden. I ask my Lord to protect our nation and our country from the human catastrophes caused by such perverts."
President Erdogan previously said, "Attack on Religious Affairs Administration is an attack on the state" after the hate khutbah of the Religious Affairs Administration.
Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
Tags: human rights