Ruling AKP official blasts opposition municipality over ‘pro-LGBT’ headquarter colours

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s deputy chairman has demanded the opposition mayor of Turkey’s western Izmir province remove the rainbow-coloured facade of the city’s municipal headquarters, citing its promotion of LGBT rights.

Hamza Dağ took to Twitter on Sunday to blast İzmir mayor Tunç Soyer for the new rainbow-coloured columns on the exterior of opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) municipal headquarters.

“What kind of benefit are you looking to provide İzmir by painting the building with colours that symbolise the LGBT (community),’’ Dağ said.

The AKP official went on to say that Soyer could not paint a public building with colours that represent “a perversion that aims to legitimise pedophilia and incestual relations.’’

Turkey’s ruling AKP has come under fire for its increasingly anti-LGBTI policies. The government has for years banned pride parades in numerous large cities and the head of Turkey's state-run Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has gone on record to say homosexuality is a cause of “illness and genealogical decay.’’

İzmir’s mayor on Monday clapped back at the AKP official, calling his statements an “eclipse of the mind.’’

“I am seeing and experiencing for the first time a conflict based on colours,’’ Diken news site quoted Soyer as saying.” Changing the colours of the columns is out of question.’’