Beşiktaş mayor apologizes for municipality’s Freddie Mercury tweet marking LGBT Pride Week
ISTANBULThe mayor of Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district has apologized over a tweet shared on the municipality’s Twitter account celebrating LGBT Pride Week.
The Beşiktaş Municipality on June 19 had shared the image of an LGBT flag hung on the façade of its building with a caption reading “We are the soldiers of Freddie Mercury.”
The tweet was deleted from the account after a few hours.
Mayor Murat Hazinedar, a member of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), later said the tweet did not represent the municipality or himself.
“We are only soldiers for the values of the Prophet Muhammad, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and our nation,” Hazinedar said in a tweet.
“The tweet represents neither the Beşiktaş municipality nor myself and was deleted while I was on a visit to [the eastern province of] Ağrı. Our attitude cannot be to encourage homosexuality. Our beliefs and perspective toward social life is an obstacle to that,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass has also shared a picture of an LGBT flag draped on the U.S. embassy building in Ankara via his Instagram account.
“During Pride Week this year I am again honored to raise this flag at our residence in Ankara as well as the Embassy. The colors remind us there is strength in diversity, and that human rights are universal rights for all,” Bass wrote alongside the picture.