The discourse of hatred directed at LGBT individuals is echoing on the street. A group, which calls itself the “Young Islamic Defense,” has put up posters in Ankara, calling for a massacre against LGBTIs.
Source: Kaos GL, “AKP’nin nefret siyaseti katliam çağrısına dönüştü” (“Turkey ruling party AKP’s politics of hatred has finally turned into a massacre call”), 7 July 2015, http://kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=19785
The discourse of hatred against LGBTI deployed by President Tayyip Erdogan, the AKP government and the conservative media echoing on the street.
Participants of 13th LGBTI Pride Parade were attacked by the police. After, the AKP government declared Pride participants as “immoral” even though they proudly exhibited Pride in their election posters [as an example of freedom in Turkey]. “Conservative media” followed suit and fueled hatred.
The group, which calls itself “Young Islamic Defense” has been putting up posters throughout Ankara. The poster says, “If you see someone engaged in the dirty business of the tribe of Lot , kill the doer and the done both.”
Arguing that Muslims should not be silent about this issue, the group has publicly defended their call to massacre on their website: “In order to show that Islam absolutely does not allow this situation, we have shared this hadith, mentioned also in [hadith scholars] Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood: “If you see someone engaged in the dirty business of the tribe of Lot, kill the doer and the done both!” Our wish is to learn the attitude Islam demands from us in light of the Qu’ran and the Sunnah, instead of the hodjas who cannot shout out what is rightful on television.”
The AKP’s politics is fueling hatred
In their 12 years of rule, AKP representatives from varying positions have made discriminatory statements and engaged in hate speech. However, the highest leaders of the AKP provoked hate in the extremely tense electoral atmosphere, revealing the AKP’s true self in matters of equality in human dignity with all of its nakedness. Through the government’s attack on Pride Parade, homophobic and transphobic hate groups have received the message in more clarity and have called for a massacre.
Referring to the HDP’s (Peoples’ Democratic Party) candidate from Eskişehir, Barış Sulu, President Erdoğan said before the elections, “We don’t nominate so-called religious scholars in Diyarbakır [a predominantly Kurdish city in Turkey’s southeast] and homosexuals in Eskişehir.”
On the other hand, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu deployed hate speech in a talk with NGO representatives in Diyarbakır on June 1st, claiming that homosexuals “caused the destruction of the tribe of Lot” and argued that a party that nominates people of the same ilk cannot represent a community of faith.
Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan made discriminatory statements and said “[they] They mention Kurd [sic] 8 times in their declaration and 9 times lesbians and stuff. Is this the Turkish society?” on the HDP’s election manifesto.
Former Minister of Interior Efkan Ala put the arguments on the tribe of Lot on the agenda when he referred to gay marriage in the HDP’s election manifesto and said, “The tribe of Lot was destroyed because of this. That is, this is the destruction of humanity.”
Attacking the HDP through its gay candidates, MP Yasin Aktay said, “it is impossible for Muslim society to affirm man’s marriage to man.”
Karaman: “A Muslim cannot defend a regime that equates a homosexual with people of the faith”
Theologist Hayrettin Karaman, known for his closeness to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and for his notorious statement that “corruption and theft are different things” had said with reference to the 23rd LGBTI Pride Week: “This country’s order might be secular, liberal democrat, etc. but no one should forget that the overwhelming majority of our society is Muslim, which accepts homosexuality as immoral, homosexuals who explain themselves cannot join the community of honorable and virtuous people, the “fault” they have committed will be met with disgust as a shameful act. A Muslim cannot defend a regime that equates homosexuals with people of the faith.”
Finally, [Deputy Prime Minister] Bülent Arınç said, “Unfortunately, I am ashamed to say this in a place where our lady sisters are present but some people turn this into honor, meaning people in different sexual orientations.”
“It is extremely saddening that they get completely naked in broad daylight, challenging and having fun in the middle of Istanbul, and unfortunately, parliamentarians from the CHP and HDP supporting them.”
“I submit this to our nation’s discretion. If our nation likes this and applauds it, it can continue to follow them. If our nation sees these as wrong, criticizes it, and beyond criticizing, says what comes to their mind, do the necessary thing at the ballot box.”
Who is showing who as a target?
The group Young Islamic Defense has made a statement via twitter in response to the reactions and complaints on social media: “Yes, the statement mentioned in the poster belongs to Prophet Muhammad. We have faith in this and are not taking offense. LGBTs and their sympathizers, who have learned that these words belong to Prophet Muhammad, have openly insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam in their messages and comments. On the other hand, leftist media groups have publicized the hadith on poster like it is our statement in an effort to target us.”
Emphasizing that the hadith is not the group’s own statement, Young Islamic Defense claimed to be targeted and stood behind their call for a massacre.
Flood of complaints on Facebook
The hate discourse and massacre call made by the group on Facebook led to a flood of complaints. While their earlier Facebook page became inaccessible, the group became visible again with their new page on Facebook.
They had previously targeted Valentine’s Day and university festivals
The group had made statements regarding the incompatibility of Islam with Valentine’s Day and university festivals and had objected to the festivals, especially the ones taking place at ODTÜ (Middle East Technical University). The group had used discriminatory speech about students attending festivals in their earlier statements.
 Tribe of Lot refers to the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the twin cities which Prophet Lot was sent to with God’s message and were destroyed by God when the community did not reign in its lust. The trope is often used against LGBT communities in the Muslim world.