Prepare to be angry: the Turkish President insists ‘there’s no such thing as LGBT’, amid protests from young people in Istanbul.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been anti-LGBTQ+, and is now making his feelings clearer than ever.

Protests in Istanbul broke out when President Erdogan named party loyalist Melih Bulu as the rector of the prestigious Bogazici University.

This decision earlier this year caused widespread upset. More than 300 students and supporters have been detained, following the protests.

Bulu’s appointment is seen by protestors as undemocratic. Many in the country have been calling for him to resign, amid fears that Erdogan is seeking even greater control over the Turkish people. Bulu is a hugely unpopular choice, and protestors are doing everything they can to express their unhappiness.

To make matters worse, Erdogan has been rapturously praising the youth branchof his ruling AK Party. He has been publicly congratulating them for them for carrying the ‘glorious history of this nation’ as well as for not being ‘LGBT youth,’ according to BBC News.

Student Arrests

Previously, four students in Istanbul were arrested over artwork displayed outside Bulu’s new office. It was this action that seems to have inspired Erdogan’s inflammatory comments.

The artwork reportedly combined LGBTQ+ symbols such as the rainbow flag with an image of the Kaaba in Mecca. It’s one of the holiest sites among those of Islamic faith.

There are reports claiming the students responsible for the artwork were arrested on Saturday, January 30, and they are all accused of ‘inciting hatred’.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu posted a Tweet on Tuesday, February 2. In it he described the four arrested students as ‘LGBT deviants’.

Twitter has since flagged the Minister’s post for violating its ‘rules about hateful conduct’, but it has not been removed and is still publicly accessible for reasons of public-interest.

Video Broadcast

Erdogan made a video broadcast to AK Party members on Monday, February 1. During the video he made several hateful comments, including: “We will carry our young people to the future, not as the LGBT youth, but as the youth that existed in our nation’s glorious past.”

“You are not the LGBT youth, not the youth who commit acts of vandalism. On the contrary, you are the ones who repair broken hearts.”

He continued his tirade against members of the LGBTQ+ community on Wednesday, February 3.  SBS News reported his latest comments, as Erdogan went even further and insisted it wasn’t real: “The LGBT, there is no such thing. This country is… moral, and it will walk to the future with these values.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first attack Erdogan has made against the LGBTQ+ community. Last year in July, he threw around accusations claiming LGBTQ+ activists were undermining Turkey’s ‘national and spiritual values’. He went as far as to say that they were ‘poisoning’ young people.

What do you think about the president’s comments?

Images via Alamy.