Turkish capital bans all LGBT screenings, exhibitions, events over ‘public sensitivities’
The governor’s office of the Turkish capital Ankara has banned the public showing of all films, exhibitions and events related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, citing “public sensitivities.”
“Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, considering public sensitivities, any events such as LGBT ... cinema, theater performances, panels, interviews and exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province, in order to provide peace and security,” the Ankara Governor’s Office stated on Nov. 19.
“It has been found out from various social media and some written and visual media organs that a number of activities of cinema, theater, panel, interview, exhibition, etc. were planned in different parts of our province by various NGOs under the name of LGBTT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transvestite) as well as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex),” it added.
“A part of society with different qualities in terms of social class, race, religion, sect, or region could therefore explicitly incite another part [of the society] to grudges and enmity, posing an open and imminent danger in terms of public safety,” the statement also said.
The authorities in Ankara had banned a German gay film festival on Nov. 15, the day before it was due to start, citing “public safety and terrorism risks.”
Four movies by German directors were scheduled to be screened as part of the two-day festival, organized jointly by the German Embassy and the Pink Life QueerFest.
Pink Life QueerFest said the festival had been attacked on social media.
The bans come after annual LGBT pride marches have been banned for three years running in Turkey.