(AP) ISTANBUL — Turkish officials have banned all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights groups in the country’s capital.
The ban took effect Saturday for an “indefinite” period and applies to all LGBTI film screenings, theaters, panels and exhibitions.
The Ankara governor’s office announced Sunday that the ban was imposed to protect “public security.” It said the events may cause animosity between different groups and endanger “health and morality” as well as the rights and freedoms of others.
The governor’s office warned that some groups may be provoked by LGBTI events and take action against participants due to “certain social sensitivities.”
Although homosexuality is not banned in Turkey and numerous LGBTI associations are legally registered with the state, rights activists say LGBTI individuals face discrimination and stigma.
In June Turkish police fired rubber bullets at a group of around 40 activists trying to hold a parade in Istanbula day after the city governor’s office banned the march, citing safety and public order concerns.
It was the third year in a row that the march had been banned.