Turkish Officials Ban LGBT Cinema, Theater and Other Events in the Country's Capital

Homosexuality is not banned in Turkey and numerous LGBTI associations are legally registered with the state, but rights activists say LGBTI individuals face discrimination

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses to his ruling party's provincial leaders in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses to his ruling party's provincial leaders in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017Credit: Presidential Press Service, pool photo via AP

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.

“Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, concerning our community’s public sensitivity, any events such as LGBT... cinema, theater, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security,” the statement continued.

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.

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