‘We’re against LGBT’: Erdoğan targets gay and trans people ahead of critical Turkish election

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05/13/2023

At campaign rallies across Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has missed no opportunity to attack gay and trans people. “We are against the LGBT,” he told one rally near the Black Sea. “Family is sacred to us – a strong family means a strong nation.” At another rally earlier this month, Erdoğan accused every party in Turkey’s opposition coalition of being LGBT. When Turkish voters go to the polls in parliamentary and presidential elections on 14 May, LGBTQ+ rights as well as women’s rights will be on the ballot. Erdoğan has withdrawn Turkey from the Council of Europe’s Istanbul convention on violence against women and pushed a conservative vision of family values while attacking groups that defend women and queer rights.

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