Turkey’s Erdogan tells supporters he does not ‘recognise’ LGBT

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Erdogan tells supporters he does not ‘recognise’ LGBT

ANKARA, October 7 – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he did not “recognize LGBT people” and pledged to fight “perverse” tendencies he believes want to destroy the institution of the family in the country.

The Turkish government, led by Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party, has hardened its stance on LGBTQ freedoms in recent mownths, particularly during the campaign for this year’s elections in May.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but hostility to it is widespread, and police crackdowns on pride parades have intensified over the years. Speaking at an AK Party congress in Ankara, Erdogan, who has often referred to members of the LGBTQ community as “deviants”, declared that neither his party, nor their nationalist allies the MHP, recognized the LGBTQ community.

“We don’t recognize LGBT people. Those who recognize them can go and march with them. We are members of a structure that keeps the institution of the family strong, that strongly embraces the institution of the family,” he said.

“We will dry the roots of sneaky acts aiming to destroy our family institution by supporting perverse political, social and individual trends,” he told tens of thousands of flag-waving and chanting supporters.

After the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, Erdogan complained that he was uncomfortable with the use of what he described as “LGBT colours” at the U.N., which at the time was decorated with bright colours promoting the Sustainable Development Goals.

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