The Turkish government on Sunday banned all cultural events related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer matters in the country’s capital city of Ankara, Reuters reported.
“Starting from November 18, 2017, concerning our community’s public sensitivity, any events such as LGBT...cinema, theater, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
The notice said that such events could cause certain groups to “publicly harbour hatred and hostility” toward each other, and pose a risk to public safety.
The move followed a ban on a festival of German-language gay films in Ankara on Thursday. It was imposed on the grounds that it could incite hatred and be at risk from terror attacks. Pride parades have been banned in Istanbul for the last two years.
Though homosexuality is legal in Turkey, queer individuals have often complained of harassment, abuse and animosity. The recent ban has fuelled concerns among activists that their right to freedom of expression is being curtailed under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.