Turkey’s interior minister Süleyman Soylu on Sunday attacked the opposition over LGBTQ rights, stating that gay marriage will be legalised if the Turkish government loses the elections on 14 May.
Soylu, known for his hostility towards LGBTQ organisations, delivered a speech during a Ramadan pre-dawn meal event organised in İstanbul’s Bayrampaşa district.
The minister targeted municipalities controlled by opposition parties, which have opened equality departments working for women’s and LGBTQ people’s rights, accusing the opposition of degrading traditional family values.
“Why are you messing with the peace, family and family structures of this nation? If you want same sex marriage, start from your own homes,” Soylu said.
“If we go, those supporting LGBT will come, those who want same sex marriage will come,” he added.
LGBTQ rights have been a target of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since the start of the election campaign. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month labelled the Nation Alliance formed by six opposition parties the “rainbow table”.
The Turkish pro-government outlet has also been continuously attacking Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance, over his promise to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“We have no business with LGBT,” said Erdoğan during a rally this week. “We are struggling against this pervert mentality. We have the family, which is a sacred institution,” he added.
The president also attacked the LGBTQ community during a television broadcast this week.
“The family is sacred for us. Our priority is to protect this institution,” Erdoğan said.
“We will not let perverted groups like the LGBT exist in our country or be imposed on our nation,” he said.