Law enforcement authorities banned the upcoming transgender gay pride march in Turkey. The march was scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 26. Followed by the Turkish nationalist youth group’s extreme opposition against the upcoming event, the authorities had to impose a widespread ban on the highly anticipated event.
On the contrary, Turkey, despite of being a Muslim country, recognizes homosexuality and does not think of it as a crime. Still homophobia remains as a widespread fad within the country at different levels. The country’s security officials expressed their concerns in favor of the ban, citing that allowing the event to take place would perhaps result in some form of terrorist activity.
Members of the Alperen Hearths; one of the ultra-nationalist youth group in Turkey believes that the gay pride march is an immoral event to help fuel fantasies of transgender community. “To our state officials: do not make us deal with this (in our own way). We will take any risks to directly prevent the march,” said the ultra nationalist group’s provincial head, Kursat Mican.
Furthermore, Mican added, “degenerates will not be allowed to carry out their fantasies on this land. We are not (and will not be held) responsible for the consequences if the supporters of the event carry on with their plans. If you are not taught by experience, you are taught by a beating.”
Turkey is viewed as a relatively safe haven for homosexuals in the Middle East. However, the country is also populated with conservatives, both at government and media level that strongly oppose transgender equality and rights from time to time.
In relation to the recent Orlando nightclub shooting, a Turkish newspaper: Yeni Akit, ran the following headline the next day. “50 pervert gays killed in a bar.” Even though the gay pride march is a peaceful event, last year police forces not only used tear gas but also imposed a ban on the event because it was to take place during the month of Ramzan. It looks like the same situation this year.
Despite of hundreds injured during last year’s highly anticipated transgender pride march, supporters of the event have their spirits intact, and would like to take legal action against the opposition.