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Turkey Bans All LGBT Events in Capital to ‘Protect Public Security’

Turkish officials have banned all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights groups in Ankara, the country’s capital, the Ankara governor’s office announced Sunday.

The ban took effect Saturday and applies “until further notice” in the Ankara province, according to a governor’s office statement cited by Turkish newspaper Hürriyet.

“Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, considering public sensitivities, any events such as LGBT … cinema, theater performances, panels, interviews and exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province, in order to provide peace and security,” the statement said.

It added that such events may spur animosity from other groups within Turkish society, “posing an open and imminent danger in terms of public safety.”

According to the newspaper, a German gay film festival was banned on Wednesday, one day before it was due to start, over concerns for “public safety and terrorism risks.”

The move is likely to fuel concerns in the country over discrimination faced by LGBT individuals and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan civil rights record.

 

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