Citing security concerns, the governor
of Ankara, Turkey's capital, has banned all public LGBT events.
According to the AP, the “indefinite”
ban took effect Saturday. It applies to all LGBT film screenings,
theaters, panels and exhibitions.
Ankara Governor Mehmet Kiliclar said in
a statement that the ban was necessary for the protection of “public
security” and that the LGBT events were being banned because of
He added that the ban would help to
promote “public order, prevention of crimes, general health and
Ankara-based LGBT groups Pink Life and
Kaos GL criticized the ban in a joint statement, calling it “illegal,
discriminatory and arbitrary.”
“This decision legitimizes rights
violations and discrimination against LGBTIs,” the groups said.
“In our country where discrimination and hate based on sexual
orientation and gender identity is rampant, it is the duty of
national and local administrations to combat this discrimination and
While gay sex is not illegal in Turkey,
the country has one of the highest rates of anti-LGBT violence in
Geneva-based ILGA also criticized the
ban, calling it “a disgraceful breach of fundamental rights and
freedoms.” ILGA is an international federation of more than 1,200
LGBT groups from around the world, according to its website.