AKP lawmaker slams US Consulate in İstanbul for displaying Pride colors

A lawmaker from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has sharply criticized the US Consulate General in İstanbul for displaying rainbow Pride colors on the side of its building, saying it is unthinkable for a country to promote perversion, Turkish Minute reported.

The US Consulate General, located in İstanbul’s Sarıyer district, is displaying the colors for Pride Month, which is celebrated in June.

“Is this photo from the US Consulate in İstanbul a photomontage? If not, it’s unbelievable. How can a country hang the flag of perversion, prostitution and obscenity on the walls of its mission? It is like a country’s assuming the mission of ‘forcing God to Doomsday.’ Weird,” tweeted AKP deputy Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı.

Çamlı, who was the Turkish president’s driver before he was elected to parliament in 2011, is notorious for his controversial statements on a range of subjects. He once said his great-grandfathers invented mathematics and engineering.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but homophobia is widespread. After a spectacular Pride March in İstanbul drew 100,000 people in 2014, the government responded by banning future events in the city, citing security concerns.

It is common for AKP politicians and their leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to attack LGBTI individuals and accuse them of perversion and ruining family values.

Meanwhile, Turkey was ranked 48th among 49 countries as regards the human rights of LGBT people, according to the 2021 Rainbow Europe Map published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)-Europe in May.

According to the index, a large number of hate speech incidents and campaigns took place again in Turkey in 2020 against LGBT people, and in some instances the government or public figures blamed LGBT people or gay men for the COVID-19 pandemic and for spreading other illnesses.

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