Hate campaign lead against İstanbul Pride March

An organisation named 'Müslüman Anadolu Gençliği’ (Muslim Anatolian Youth) has created a violent hate campaign on social media in response to Istanbul Pride Week, held on the last week of June. Facebook staff have stated that this page, clearly asking people to commit violence, does “not violate community standards.”

A campaign has begun encouraging hate and violence towards The Istanbul LGBTI Pride March, celebrated every year on the last week of June. An organisation named "Muslim Anatolian Youth" (Müslüman Anadolu Gençliği) invited people to lynch the Pride March through an event opened through Facebook. The event, titled "We Will Not Let Prideless Perverts to March," calls to rally at Taksim Square on the 19th of June. The event was also shared on Twitter.

In said Facebook Event page, messages and images inviting others to attack the Pride March are being shared. Two reporters known for their news stories containing hate speech against LGBTI, Yeni Akit reporter Harun Sekmen and Millet reporter Enes Babacan, sent the group messages in support. Images predicted to belong to ISIS and photos of people being tortured continue to be shared on this page.

LGBTI activists reported the event to Facebook staff. Facebook initially sent the message “We reviewed the page you reported and found it does not violate community standards” to LGBTI activists. With continuing reports the page was as of today deleted.

SPoD: We will take legal action

In a statement released by The Social Rights, Gender identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) board of directors’ member Lawyer Rozerin Seda Kip, it was explained that this hate speech would be pursued. Kip stated that "we will bar those who have made this call to violence from spreading this hostility and enmity in society. LGBTI NGOs will take the necessary legal actions as soon as possible.”

No statement has been released by the Istanbul Governorate or Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior on taking safety measures for this year's Istanbul Pride March.  

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli, at a meeting yesterday, stated that “We don’t know of course, but if it is allowed naturally the necessary security measures will be taken.”

Translation: Yasemin Paçalıoğlu


Human Rights

About Author

Mehmet Akın