The Final Fight

TSUNAMI OF HATE

Growing government discrimination against the LGBTQ community in Turkey

Turkish media are reporting that police detained dozens of people who assembled outside a courthouse last month in a show of solidarity with 12 students who were taken into custody for unfurling rainbow flags, reports The Associated Press

The detentions came amid growing government discrimination against the LGBTQ community in Turkey. The 12 students were detained last month after they displayed the flags of the LGBT rights movements during a protest at Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University. The students were denouncing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s appointment of a new rector and Erdogan’s decision to pull Turkey out of a European pact that aims to protect women against violence. Government officials have argued that the Istanbul Convention “normalizes homosexuality.”

“Before, there would be a wave of hatred and then it would calm down. Now, it’s been going on for months, turning into a tsunami.”

“Before, there would be a wave of hatred and then it would calm down,” a 30-year-old computer engineer told Agence France-Presse last month. “Now, it’s been going on for months, turning into a tsunami.”

From incendiary government minister tweets to censorship of gay characters on TV and media-led boycotts of LGBT-friendly brands, a growing animosity is suffocating Turkey’s free-spirited LGBT community. In the process, the attacks have tarnished Turkey’s image as a haven of tolerance in the socially conservative Muslim world. LGBT groups believe Erdogan is attacking their community to distract his supporters from Turkey’s economic travails.