Gay film festival banned in Turkey over fears of terrorism

Gay film festival banned in Turkey over fears of terrorism

A gay film festival due to take place in Turkey this weekend has been cancelled by authorities.

Pink Life QueerFest had scheduled four movies in cinemas across the Turkish city of Ankara on 16 and 17 November, with all of the movies by German directors.

However, Ankara’s governor, Mehmet Kılıçlar, has decided to cancel the event complete for fears over public safety and terrorism.

Kılıçlar said that the festival could “incite grudges and enmity toward a part of society”.

His office added that they had intelligence that indicated “terror organisations are seeking to attack dissident groups or individuals”.

While homosexuality isn’t illegal in Turkey, homophobia is still prevalent in society, and anti-discrimination laws in areas such as employment, housing and hate speech are non-existent.

Before the event was cancelled by authorities, it had received a negative reaction on social media.

Pink Life QueerFest criticised the decision, saying that the governor’s office should ensure the safety of the event, rather than outright ban it.

via Flickr

“Just as in the honour marches banned arbitrarily and unlawfully in recent years,” they said in a statement.

“The proposition of the threat of terrorism and provocation in these film demonstrations legitimises the people and institutions that perceive our existence as a threat and produce hate speech about us.

“Your governor’s job is not to ban walks or activities, but to ensure that they are carried out safely.”

It comes days after Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, slammed a County Council in the Nulifer district of the city Bursa, which aims to get LGBT+ people more representation in politics.

The leader claimed that gay representation is at odds with the country’s values.

Turkey’s annual Pride parade in Istanbul has been banned for the past three years.

Last year, a march to honour the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting was disrupted when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at activists.

The post Gay film festival banned in Turkey over fears of terrorism appeared first on Gay Times.

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