LGBT+ people are facing a dire situation in Turkey. This is how it got so bad, and why you should care


The abuse and restrictions against Turkey’s LGBT+ population are growing increasingly more alarming. On 2 February 2021, Twitter took the still relatively unusual step of flagging a politician’s tweets for “hateful conduct”, the same thing it did to tweets from former US president Donald Trump before his ban. Twitter’s target this time was Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu, who tweeted that “four LGBT+ perverts” had been detained for “inciting hatred”. These LGBT+ “perverts” were actually students at Istanbul’s Bogazici University, where young people have been protesting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to appoint a loyalist with links to his ruling Justice and Development Party to serve as the prestigious university’s rector. The clashes in Turkey escalated last week after protesters hung a poster on the campus that depicted the Kaaba in Mecca adorned with rainbow flags.

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