Erdogan’s victory scares Turkey’s LGBT+ community

In Turkey, the LGBT+ community does not look favorably on Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory on Sunday. Throughout the campaign, he insulted them, used to attack the opposition and accuse him of wanting to destroy the family values ​​he holds at the pinnacle: the re-election of the Islamo-conservative president frightens LGBT people who fear seeing themselves aim, including physically, because of their sexual orientations.

“I’m really scared. I couldn’t breathe before and now they’re going to try to strangle me,” Ilker Erdogan, a 20-year-old student, worried on Saturday on the eve of the election in the Kadiköy district, on the Asian side of Turkey. Istanbul.

Erdogan’s regular attacks

And it must be said that on the evening of his victory, Erdogan did nothing to dispel fears. From his first speech, the president regaled his supporters by asking: “Is the CHP (the party of his unfortunate opponent, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu) LGBT? Is the HDP (pro-Kurdish) LGBT? “. And the crowd roar: “Yessssssssssss! “. Then: “Is the AKP (his party) LGBT? » – « Nooooooo! »

In a meeting during the election campaign, the head of state never failed to attack the community, saying that “no LGBT can be the product of this nation! “. His Minister of the Interior, Süleyman Soylu, for his part denounced the “religion” LGBT + imported according to him “from America and Europe”. “When they talk about LGBT+, that includes the marriage of animals and humans,” he also claimed.

“No consequences if we are killed”

“I have experienced more hate speech and acts than I have experienced in a long time; they threw coffee at me from a car and yelled at me in the street, ”says Ameda Murat Karaguzu, 26, project manager in an association for LGBT + rights. For her, “this hate speech” of President Erdogan “encourages homophobic, transphobic and anti-LGBT+ people in the streets because they know that there will be no consequences if we are killed or injured”.

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Tugba Baykal, 39-year-old documentary filmmaker and LGBT+ activist, has decided to leave the country. “People are treated like criminals for the mere fact of existing.” She is sure that requests for visas to emigrate will increase. She herself will try her luck in the United States: “a decision that would have been much more difficult to make if our country was more welcoming. »

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