Ban Lift Allows LGBTQ Turks to Celebrate Their Pride

LGBTQ people in Turkey can now celebrate their pride after a ban was lifted. Image via Al-Masdar News.

A 2017 ban in Ankara that banned LGBTQ events has been lifted, allowing the Turkish people to celebrate their pride, according to Middle East Eye.

The ban was created, according to the governor’s office, because such events could “provoke reactions within certain segments,” which is in part true, as far-right groups in Turkey frequently threaten LGBTQ groups. 

The lift came about after the LGBTQ rights group, Kaos GL, appealed the ban. In the past, the appeal was rejected but on Friday the court announced that it was successful, allowing LGBTQ Turks to openly celebrate their pride. This is definitely a good thing, as Turkey, a Middle-Eastern and Muslim-majority country may set an example for other countries that have historically criminalized homosexuality or at least have a negative view of LGBTQ identities. For example, Turkish attitudes towards homosexuality were so negative that in the past, emergency powers in Istanbul and Ankara were used to shut down pride events. 

Additionally,  LGBTQ activists have previously attempted to host pride events in Istanbul and Ankara, but their attempts have been met with arrests, tear gassing, and beatings. 

Hayriye Kara,  Kaos GL’s lawyer, commented on the decision, as she said that “the court has accepted our arguments that we have advocated since the day when the ban has declared” and that the court decided that any group of people who is more susceptible to being attacked should be protected. Fotis Filippou, campaigns director for Europe at Amnesty International, called this decision “a momentous day for LGBTI people in Turkey and a huge victory for the LGBTI rights activists.” 

I am inclined to agree with Filippou – this decision shows that once again love wins and that the future of LGBTQ people in Turkey appears to be a bright one. The fact that pride events are now allowed in Turkey is huge in that they may help normalize LGBTQ relationships which can help turn attitudes around. Let’s hope this sets a precedent for other countries to follow suit. 

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Source: Middle East Eye

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