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Erdoğan shown to have rooted for LGBT rights

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been taped supporting LGBT rights in the past, but his ruling party is now against recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity
Despite a past promise, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not recognizing LGBT rights
Photos by Kaos GL

In politics, promises are sometimes made to be broken. But still, it is unsightly to be caught breaking one’s own vow.

On Kaos GL, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had just assumed the post of leader for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the time, is shown to have called for legal protection for LGBT rights back in 2002.

In footage of the TV show ‘Genç Bakış’ with university participants, student Ahmet Altın Işık threw a question at Erdoğan, who were to become the long-serving prime minister of the country.

‘As you know, in Turkey, we have LGBT citizens, do you think of recognizing LGBT’s rights like same sex marriage as in Europe, what is your personal opinion, LGBT’s rights should be recognized or not?’

Erdoğan calmly answered: ‘It is essential that LGBT’s human rights should be protected before the law. From time to time, the treatments which they have been faced with in TV scenes are inhuman.’

However, both the ruling and Islamist AKP and the far-right Nationalist Action Party are now against recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity in the Equality Bill in the process of rewriting the Constitution, despite support from two leftist opposition parties.

Turkey currently places near the bottom of the European International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe (ILGA-Europe) index, tied with countries such as Monaco and San Marino. LGBTI organizations are obstructed by the state, according to the ILGA-Europe.

The ‘Genç Bakış’ clip (in Turkish):

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