Turkish newspaper calls for shutdown of LGBTI groups

Turkish Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit has called for the country’s 18 LGBTI groups to be officially shut down as foreign-funded provocations.

Under the headline “Close these pervert associations!” the paper criticises the extension of legal protections for the groups, which it calls “nests of subversion”.

The groups are funded by EU countries and German foundations, it said, quoting a lawyer named Ferhat Çakır as saying that they carry out demonstrations such as last week’s gay pride march in Istanbul in order to disrupt societal harmony on behalf of foreign powers.

Another lawyer, Ali Osman Bağırgan, was quoted as saying that it would be legal and necessary to shut the groups down in order to protect the mental and physical health of Turkey’s citizens.

On July 1, the newspaper claimed to have been influential in the banning of Istanbul gay pride by the local governorate for the fourth year in a row.

Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, although there has been increasing pressure put on LGBTI groups since the declaration of a state of emergency following a failed coup attempt in July 2016.