Turkey’s interior minister, Süleyman Soylu, in a speech on Tuesday targeted the LGBT+ community and insinuated that they were deviants, the Bold Medya news website reported.
Soylu attended a ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Victory Day in central Turkey’s Afyonkarahisar province. During his speech he said the Turkish nation was conservative and religious and did not embrace LGBT values.
Soylu is known for his discriminatory remarks against the LGBTQ+ community in Turkey. He recently commented on a Pride March ban in Istanbul, saying Pride events were funded and organized by the United States and Europe. Emphasizing that LGBT+ threatens the traditional Turkish family structure, Soylu said Turkey should never allow space for the LGBT+ community.
A 2021 report by LGBT+ advocacy group KAOS GL revealed that Turkey’s LGBT+ community is feeling increasingly threatened under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
According to the report the government frequently targets LGBTQ+ individuals since high-ranking government officials publicly said they damage Turkish social and family values.
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.