Turkish homophobic leaflets blame ‘British state’ for homosexuality

Homophobic leaflets blaming the “British deep state” for “forcing” people into homosexuality have reportedly been distributed in Turkey.

The anti-gay notices which allegedly say “homosexuality is despicableness and can be turned away by convincement” were given to people sitting in the town of Alsancak, Izmir, according to Turkish news site Bianet.

Other leaflets were also reportedly spread in different cities in the same time period. Posters which allegedly read “homosexuality is perversion”, were dropped in mail boxes and across the city of Ankara on the same day (Friday July 20), the news site reported.

According to Pembe Hayat (Pink Life in English), a Turkish LGBT group, the leaflets alleged that homosexuals are supported by “British deep state” and that homosexuals are “sexual perverts.”

Pembe Hayat added that the notices claimed “[homosexuality] is being forced on people under the cover of ‘human rights’ and youngsters shouldn’t fall into this trap.”

“We don’t want men doing makeup, we want Atatürkist men who protect their nation,” the leaflets allegedly said.

Other leaflets were also distributed in the city of Osmaniye, according to a local news source. Eray Deniz, who lives in the area, told KaosGL.org, as a gay man he was worried about the anti-gay messages.

“These posters are very dangerous for us. It triggers homophobia. I’m worried about walking on the street, this is a humiliating situation,” Deniz reportedly told the site.

Various images of different leaflets have emerged on local news and LGBT sites since the alleged distributions.

One leaflet has a picture of Neil Patrick Harris and his family, crossed out by a large red cross, and others show pictures of gay pride parades.

An alleged witness of one of the distributions gave a statement to Pembe Hayat and said, “I don’t understand how they can think that homosexuality can be change [sic] by means of ‘convincement’ in 2018. It’s obvious that these people are far from science and love.

“While very nice developments occur about the LGBTI’s in the world, marriages became legal, adopting homophobic attitudes and distributing leaflets in Turkey means targeting people.

People wave LGBT rainbow flags at Istanbul’s Taksim Square as they take part in a political demonstration on July 24, 2016.  (OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

“For how long more will LGBTI+s have to hide their loves? For how long more will they be subjected to disgusting looks and hate speeches just for wandering hand in hand? No one can decide who will love who. Rainbow will always exist,” the reported witness told Pembe Hayat.

Earlier this year Amnesty International warned of the dangers of being an LGBT person living in Turkey.

For the last three years, Pride marches have been banned in Istanbul and Ankara, while other Pride events such as LGBTI film festivals have been shut down “due to social sensitivities”.

Last November, the Ankara Governorate used powers under the state of emergency, in place since the coup attempt, to impose an indefinite ban on all public events by LGBT organizations in the city, citing “public safety”, “safeguarding general health and morals” and “safeguarding the rights and freedoms of others”.