U.S. providing over $ 20 million to Ankara LGBT organisation - interior minister

The United States is providing $22 million in aid to an LGBT organisation in Turkey’s capital Ankara as part of an effort to impose its beliefs on the country, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Wednesday.

“The United States was helping Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on the one hand,” Soylu said, referring to the political wing of Kurdish groups that control large parts of northern Syria. Ankara views the groups as terrorist organisations because of their links to Kurdish militants in Turkey.

“Can I tell you another place it is providing aid to? The LGBT (community). The United States is providing $ 22 million in aid to an LGBT organisation in Ankara,’’ the Independent Turkish quoted Soylu as saying during a union meeting in Ankara.

The minister did not provide any detail on which organisation had received the funding or on what basis.

“Is it necessary for me to say that the real goal here is (asserting) its belief, identity and existence in this land?’’ the Turkish minister added.  

Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has banned long-running pride week activities in its largest city, Istanbul, and several other places including the southern provinces of Antalya and Mersin, stirring a debate on creeping conservatism under the Islamist party which has ruled the country for 17 years.