Istanbul Muslim District Bans LGBT Event Citing ‘Public Order and Safety’ Amid Anti-Gay Crackdown

Pro-Erdogan supporters gather at Taksim Square in Istanbul following a failed coup attempt, on July 16, 2016
AFP/File BULENT KILIC
CHARLIE NASH

A district in Istanbul, Turkey, banned an LGBT event that was set to take place on Saturday, citing “public order and safety.”

In a report, Reuters claimed that the district governorship banned the event on Friday, just one day before it was scheduled to take place, “citing risks to public safety.”

In a statement, the Beyoglu governor’s office declared, “The LGBT+ themed meeting, march, film screening and interview events that will take place on Nov. 25 in Beyoglu district will not be allowed in order to secure public order and safety, to protect the rights and freedom of other people and to prevent crime.”

Last week, it was reported that LGBT people in Turkey are becoming increasingly concerned following crackdowns on numerous LGBT events.

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.

According to Reuters, LGBT Prides have been banned for two years in Istanbul, Turkey, and, “Although homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, unlike in many Muslim countries, there is widespread hostility to it.”

As reported last week, “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.

Egypt has previously arrested alleged homosexuals accused of “debauchery” and “blasphemy,” including 26 men in 2014 who were tried for “debauchery,” before being acquitted the following year.

Last month, the only LGBT club in Muslim nation Kyrgyzstan was forced to close following an increase in anti-LGBT abuse.

Charlie Nash covers technology and LGBT news for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington and Gab @Nash, or like his page at Facebook.

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