LGBT people in Turkey are concerned over a potential anti-gay crackdown in the country, after LGBT events were banned in the capital city.
According to the Guardian, the ban on LGBT events was condemned by several human rights groups, and followed a declaration from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that being gay goes “against the values of our nation.”
“Respondents to a Guardian callout said they thought Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was waging a war against them, and they felt a change in mood towards their community across the country – including in areas where they had previously enjoyed personal freedom,” the news outlet reported, before quoting several LGBT people in Turkey on their reaction.
“I wasn’t so surprised when I heard. I have participated in gay pride in Istanbul since 2009. The atmosphere was always really peaceful but, in the last years, it became a tour de force of the police,” claimed one man, who lives in south Turkey. “Brutal attacks have already given a clue about what we were going to experience. I think that this is just a start.”
Action against LGBT people in Muslim countries is a growing problem. This month, four men in Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, were arrested for “spreading gay pictures.”
In October, it was reported that Indonesia was considering a ban on LGBT television characters.
Though homosexuality is not explicitly outlawed in Indonesia, crackdowns on homosexual activities have been on the rise. 141 men, including a British national, were arrested in Indonesia earlier this year on suspicion of having a “gay sex party.”
Anti-LGBT crackdowns have also been on the rise in other Muslim countries, including Egypt.
In October, seventeen men “suspected of homosexuality” were tried in Egypt on charges of “debauchery” and “incitement to debauchery,” which, according to Deutsche Welle, “is part of a wider crackdown on homosexuality.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both called on Egyptian authorities to halt their crackdown on homosexuals in the country following a recent concert in Cairo where the LGBT rainbow flag was spotted, and the two groups also urged Egyptian authorities to end the practice of “anal examinations” on suspected homosexuals, branding the practice “abhorrent” and a form of torture.
Last month, the only LGBT club in Muslim nation Kyrgyzstan was forced to close following an increase in anti-LGBT abuse.