Once again the LGBTI+ community in Turkey was targeted by the Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu in a meeting that was held with neighbourhood heads (“mukhtar”) in Bursa province on 28 th December.
Soylu stated that there is an attack against Turkey by the west and LGBTI+ associations have a role in it by being funded from abroad.
“Which mother or father in your neighbourhood has applied to you for the LGBT to be spread, to be developed? Has any mother or father applied to you with the demand that ‘Let LGBT spread in this country? Let our children be occupied with such things.’ Then where does this love come from? From Europe and the U.S. How does it come? Very simple. They have associations, foundations abroad and via embassies,” Soylu said.
He also claimed that there are continuous attacks against Turkey but due to the powerful family structure of the country, the attackers can not reach to their goals.
“How do we stand on our feet? They’re attacking us with drugs, we’re standing. They’re attacking with terror, we’re standing. They are attacking economically, we’re standing. How? Because we have a strong family structure.”
Upon Soylu’s speech families of LGBTI+ people in Turkey reacted in a joint statement they published, KAOS GL reports.
“First of all, we want to say that there is no such thing as the spread of LGBTI+. Being LGBTI+ is not a lifestyle, it is not a choice, being LGBTI+ is an existence. It is as ancient as human history, as widespread as the geography of humanity. LGBTI+s exist, no one can convince someone else to become LGBTI+. It’s not the spread of LGBTI+, but it is more visible than in the past” LGBTI+ families associations in Turkey stated.
“Of course LGBTI+ people have mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers, nephews. LGBTI+ people are our children, our brothers, our nieces. We do not exclude our children because of their existence, but rather embrace them.” the statement continued:
” We LGBTI+ people’s families, thanks to our children, have learned that the world is not made of black and white, and we know that under a huge rainbow that covers the world, there is room for all colours. Despite all the divisive talk and targeting, we will continue to stand by our children so that they can have their basic rights and freedoms, and we will support them with all our strength because our children are neither alone nor wrong. LGBTI+ rights are human rights. We invite all those who respect human rights to contribute to the struggle of our children , and we hope for a country where a Minister of Interior does not target people living in his country and approaches every citizen equally.”