Turkish president Recep Tayyyip Erdoğan on Monday stated that LGBTQ rights are not in his party’s book and his government will vigilantly struggle against LGBTQ rights after elections, Hürriyet daily reported.
Speaking at a women’s event in İstanbul, Erdoğan began by criticising the opposition for blaming the government after the Turkish public became aware of a scandal that involved the forced marriage and sexual abuse of a six-year old girl under the consent of her family, who are linked to a powerful Islamist sect.
The failure of the Turkish judiciary to help the victim, now 24-years old, when she first lodged a legal complaint against her husband and her father in 2012 and the fact that the woman’s subsequent complaint in 2020 had been waiting the prosecutors’ attention for two years, has fuelled fury on social media in Turkey. Many secular opponents of the government argued that such incidents were the result of expanding Islamism in Turkey and the growing influence of Islamist sects in state institutions.
Erdoğan targeted Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for his statements in relation to the scandal. The president accused Kılıçdaroğlu of remaining silent on children allegedly abducted by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and called the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) the extension of the PKK in parliament.
Erdoğan also cited alleged sexual abuse scandals within the CHP, saying that he will explain those incidents in upcoming 2023 election rallies.
“The essential issue that those caring for the problems of women, young people and children in our country is the pervert movements that threaten our children all together,” Erdoğan said.
“The issue they call the LGBT is not in our book. But is it in the CHP’s book? Yes, it is. Is it in the book of the baby opposition. Yes, it is. Are they walking together. Yes, they are,” Erdoğan said referring to both political parties.
“God willing, we will fight against those big threats more vigilantly with our ministries, non-governmental organisations,” said Erdoğan, who in November called the LGBTQ movement “a global dictatorship tool”.
The president’s most recent statements came after his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) submitted to the Turkish parliament a proposal for constitutional amendments that seek the protection of the family according to party officials.
The AKP’s proposal defines marriage as an institution that involves a woman and a man and therefore will provide a constitutional guarantee against LGBTQ marriage despite the fact that it is already illegal in Turkey.