The Turkish capital of Ankara has banned all future LGBTI events within the city.
The ban follows last week’s decision to cancel a gay film festival in Ankara. Both choices cite a desire to protect and maintain public security.
The ban went into effect on 18 November.
In a statement on Governor Mehmet Kılıçlar’s website, his office stated events such as ‘cinema, theater, panel, interviews, exhibitions, etc., which include some social sensitivities… was banned’.
They furthermore explained the decision.
‘In this way, it is possible that the public will induce a group of people with different characteristics in terms of social class, race, religion, sect or region to publicly harbor hatred and hostility against another part of society and thus open and close danger may arise in terms of public security.’
The statement also cited ‘the prevention of crime, general health and morals’ and ‘the protection of the rights and freedoms of others’.
‘Illegal and vague grounds’
Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, but homophobia and discrimination remain rampant.
Two LGBTI organizations, Kaos GL and Pink Life, released a statement about the ban.
‘This decision and the illegal and vague grounds for it violate the very fundamental freedom of expression and association as well as other fundamental rights and freedoms,’ they said.
They further state the ban violates the constitution.
‘With this announcement the civil administration is endangering public safety by turning LGBTIs and civil society organizations, who are an important part of the public, into targets instead of fulfilling its duty to ensure public security.’
They concluded: ‘We expect this decision to be rethought and withdrawn in the shortest amount of time.’