Turkish university cancels homosexuality conference amid Hizbullah fear
İsmail Saymaz ISTANBUL / RadikalA panel on homosexuality has been canceled by Mardin Artuklu University (MAU) in southeastern Turkey after a media outlet close to Hizbullah described the event as “immoral.”
The İlke Haber Ajansı (İLKHA) not only condemned the event, but also targeted its organizer, academic Levent Şentürk.
However, İLKHA stated that the cancellation was not enough and said Şentürk should leave the city, also calling on him to prove that he is not homosexual.
The conference, which was set to be held on April 17, was also slammed by İLKHA for coinciding with Turkey's official Holy Birth Week, dedicated to the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
Following the incident, 12 academics from the MAU issued a statement saying academic events should not be prevented by hate speech, slander or alienation.
“Our scientific events never insult any kind of beliefs, ethnicities, languages, religions, or lifestyles. They do not humiliate any group of people or their values. Despite this, as we saw with the latest incident, we are targeted, insulted and threatened. No one at this institution deserves such treatment,” the statement said.