Turkish capital bans LGBT cinema, exhibitions

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A statement from the office seemed to suggest the ban was for LGBT citizens' own good, as the government claimed gay rights events could evoke unsafe protests or cultural clashes.

The governor's office in the Turkish capital of Ankara announced Sunday it has banned public events related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues "in order to provide peace and security", according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

"Starting from November 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.

Authorities had already banned a German gay film festival on Wednesday after they claimed there was a potential terrorism threat if it went ahead on Thursday.

Turkish capital bans public LGBT events

Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since its modern republic was created in 1923, but LGBTI individuals often complain of harassment amid conservatism propagated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK party.

ILGA, a global organization for LGBT rights, called the ban "a disgraceful breach of fundamental rights and freedoms" and warned that it constituted an example of the "shrinking space" for LGBT civil society in Turkey.

Officials have also banned two gay pride parades in Istanbul for the past two years. The LGBT ban was announced as the European Union said it will withhold more than $175 euros intended for Turkey as punishment for the country's "deteriorating situation in relation to democracy, rule of law and human rights".

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