Turkey has defended a homophobic tweet from the head of its largest humanitarian agency claiming that members of the LGBT+ community “violate healthy creation”.
Kerem Kinik, chairman of the Red Crescent Society of Turkey, made the comments on Twitter on June 28 as the world celebrated International Pride Day.
“We will not let you step on human dignity,” he wrote. “We will protect nature and the mental health of our children.
“We’ll fight against those who violate healthy creation, who make abnormal look normal by using their power of communication and impose their paedophiliac dreams cloaked as modernity on young minds. It’s not!”
Turkish Red Cross condemns its president over homophobic tweet.
The comments drew criticism from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), a network of charities which Kinik serves as one of five presidents.
The IFRC distanced themselves from Kinik, saying that his views do not represent those of the IFRC and that they considered them to be “both wrong and offensive”.
“The IFRC has clear code of conduct which forbids any form of homophobia, hate speech or prejudice, and all staff and representatives are bound by that code, including Dr Kinik,” they said.
The Turkish government subsequently rose to Kinik’s defence, with the Turkish presidency’s communications director tweeting that “LGBT propaganda poses a grave threat to freedom of speech”.
He said the IFRC “became complicit in that attack by targeting” Kinik, adding: “We won’t be silenced!”
Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey but hostility is rife, with much of the opposition coming from the country’s government.
In April, Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs sparked a fresh wave of homophobia by condemning homosexuality in a sermon to mark the start of Ramadan.
“Islam curses homosexuality,” he declared in the widely-shared speech. “Homosexuality brings with it illnesses and decay to lineage. Let’s work together to protect people from such evil.”
This was fully supported by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “What he said was totally right,” Erdogan said in a public address on Monday (June 29), declaring that “an attack against the Diyanet chief is an attack on the state.”
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