Handful of LGBTQ candidates square off with President Erdogan ahead of Turkey’s election

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05/12/2023

Esmeray Zeynep Ozadikti says she may land in jail for running as an openly trans woman in Turkey’s election. Still, she believes it’s worth it. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have targeted the LGBTQ community as they appeal to their Islamist, conservative base ahead of Sunday’s elections for president and parliament. The upcoming vote is expected to be Erdogan’s biggest electoral challenge in over 20 years in power. One of Ozadikti’s competitors in Istanbul’s Second District is Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who has also made anti-LGBT remarks while campaigning. “Should they win, their first act would probably be arresting me,” Ozadikti, 50, said this week.

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