AKP deputy chair says 'We cannot approve of perverts' after positive remarks on LGBT Turks


The deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) walked back his positive remarks on Turks who identify as LGBT by labeling them “perverts”, Duvar English reported on Friday. 

“It is never possible for us to approve of perverts that corrupt our family institutions,” said Mehmet Özhaseki, the AKP deputy.  

Earlier this week on November 16, Özhaseki said in a television interview that those who identified as LGBT in Turkey were “created by God” and God does not create anything “less than perfect.”

“There is nothing we can do other than to respect and respect their preferences until the end,” he said. “Since Allah created (LGBT people), they all have a place in our heads."

However, days later Özhaseki performed an about turn. On Twitter, he wrote that his remarks were being taken out of context and that even if respect for differences among “God’s creatures” should be afforded, one did not have to accept “perversions.”

"The Creator did not create anything empty and meaningless. There is wisdom in everything created. There is nothing condemnable about the difference and discomfort that comes from the creation of human beings. Respecting them is essential."

"However, it is never possible for us to approve of some of the perversions that were created later on, contrary to our traditions, customs, and values of belief. These destroyed our family institutions.”

Under the AKP, Turkey’s official stance towards homosexuality has grown increasingly more hostile. Like Özhaseki, other public officials have made more aggressive statements about Turks who are LGBT, including interior minister Süleyman Soylu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After student protests at the start of the year, Erdoğan denied the existence of the LGBT community and Soylu described that their orientation was against Turkish traditional values.

According to the nonprofit Rainbow Europe’s annual rankings of the best and worst legal situation for LGBT equality, Turkey ranked towards the bottom of the list, below even states like Russia, Poland and Hungary. 

 

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