The West ‘marketing’ LGBT to Turkey, says interior minister

The idea of LGBT is foreign to Turkish values and is being entirely marketed to Turkey by Western countries, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Tuesday.

In an interview on Haber Global TV station, Soylu accused LGBT members of condemning Turkey’s sacred values, while criticizing them over their involvement in protests at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University over the appointment of a government- linked rector.

"The LGBT (community) has nothing to do with our values and is something Western countries market to Turkey,’’ Soylu said.

"Together, with a number of ideological groups, they are blocking the university.’’

Soylu’s remarks follow his reference to LGBT students from Boğaziçi detained during protests over the weekend as "deviants."

Late Saturday, Istanbul police detained four students at the Istanbul university over artwork that reportedly depicted LGBT rainbow symbols alongside an image of the Islamic holy site of the Kaaba.

“Four LGBT deviants who carried out the disrespectful (act) against Kaaba al-Muazzama in Boğaziçi University have been detained,’’ Soylu said on Twitter.

Twitter flagged Soylu’s tweet, saying it violated its "rules about

hateful conduct", but added that it would remain accessible for public-interest reasons.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday praised the youth wing of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) not being LGBT, saying the latter would not carry the country into the future.

The same day, a union for Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) workers said homosexuality was “not a human right.’’

Head of the directorate, Ali Erbaş, has also gone on record to condemn Boğaziçi students for allegedly disrespecting the Islamic holy site by laying a photo of the Kaaba on the ground.