Ahead of general elections this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has branded his political rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu as “LGBT person.” Erdogan’s government regards LGBT ideologz as an American and European “religion,” alien to Turkish morals, reported Russia Today.
“We know that Mr Kemal is an LGBT person,” Erdogan said at a rally in the city of Giresun on Thursday. “CHP is LGBT, IYI party is LGBT, HDP is LGBT,” he added, listing off the political factions in Kilicdaroglu’s six-party National Alliance bloc, as per a report published in Russia Today.
“As the People’s Alliance, we are against this,” he declared, referring to his own political bloc, adding, “Family is sacred to us. A strong family means a strong nation. No matter what they do, God is enough for us.”
Erdogan gave the exact same statement at a rally in the town of Rize on Wednesday, accusing Kilicdaroglu and his supporters of being pro-LGBT.
Kilicdaroglu has promised to reinstate the Istanbul Convention if elected even though he is not a vocal supporter of gay rights, according to Russia Today.
The Istanbul Convention, signed by 45 countries plus the European Union in 2011, aimed to strengthen legal penalties for violence against women, but Turkey withdrew from it in 2021, stating that it had been “hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalize homosexuality.” This was likely a reference to the treaty’s listing of transgender women, who are biologically male, as women.
“They are trying to…ungender the whole of our society under the name of LGBT,” Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said about Kilicdaroglu and his allies in February, Russia Today reported.
Soylu also said, “If Kilicdaroglu wants to ungender himself and his colleagues, let him do so,” adding, “Family is important for us, woman is important for us, man is important for us.”
Last month, Soylu asserted in a radio interview that the term “LGBTQ” “includes the marriage of animals and humans.” He continued by referring to LGBT activism as being “completely under the control of America and Europe” and LGBT ideology as a “religion.”
Kilicdaroglu has mostly refrained from making personal attacks on Erdogan and Soylu, favouring pro-Western rhetoric in his speeches instead. If elected, the 74-year-old former civil servant has pledged to promptly reopen EU accession talks and to implement the reforms that Brussels has demanded.
The recent opinion polls show Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu in a statistical dead heat, Russia Today reported. (ANI)