State Department condemns Turkey’s anti-LGBT rhetoric in opposition to protesters

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Feb 4, 2021

The new US administration is anxious by the remedy of scholar protesters in Turkey and condemns the anti-LGBT rhetoric sparked by the continued demonstrations, the State Department stated on Wednesday. 

Students at Istanbul’s Bogazici University have been protesting since final month, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed a loyalist with hyperlinks to his ruling Justice and Development Party to function the distinguished college’s rector. The clashes with police escalated final week after protesters hung a poster on the campus that depicted the holy Kaaba constructing in Mecca with rainbow flags. 

Two college students had been arrested in reference to the LGBT-themed paintings and one other two had been positioned underneath home arrest. Turkish authorities have arrested greater than 300 folks for his or her participation within the rallies.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu blasted the continued protests on Tuesday, tweeting that “LGBT perverts” had disrespected Islam. Twitter later added a warning label to the tweet for violating the corporate’s rules on hateful conduct. 

Earlier this week, Erdogan accused “LGBT youth” of committing acts of vandalism. On Wednesday he likened the scholar protesters to “terrorists” and stated “there is no such thing” as LGBT.

The United States “strongly condemns the anti-LGBTQI rhetoric surrounding the demonstrations,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price informed reporters on Wednesday. 

“Freedom of expression, even speech that some may find uncomfortable, is a critical component of a vibrant, functioning democracy that must be protected,” Price stated. 

His feedback observe a cellphone name between prime Erdogan adviser Ibrahim Kalin and President Joe Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, Jake Sullivan, on Tuesday in the first official communication between the 2 governments since Biden took workplace. The White House stated Sullivan and Kalin mentioned strengthening US-Turkey relations and “managing disagreements effectively.” 

Ties between the NATO allies are strained over Turkey’s multi-billion-dollar acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile protection system, which triggered restricted sanctions in December. During his affirmation listening to, Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred to Ankara as a “so-called strategic ally” and stated the Biden administration would evaluate whether or not extra sanctions had been wanted over its S-400 buy. 

Biden and Blinken have spoken with quite a lot of overseas leaders because the inauguration final month however haven’t held cellphone calls with their Turkish counterparts.

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