Source: Aydil Durgun, “Başbakan indirin o bayrağı deseydi tabii usta derdik” (“If the Prime Minister said lower that flag, we would have said yes, chief”), Milliyet, 10 August 2014, http://www.milliyet.com.tr/-basbakan-indirin-o-bayragi/pazar/haberdetay/10.08.2014/1923353/default.htm
A lot has been said about the AK LGBT group that opened a flag in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally. We got together with its founder Melih and member Ali. Even though they claimed that “We are not blindly attached to the AK Party”, they also said, “If Erdoğan had said “lower that flag”, we would have said “okay chief.”
The AK LGBT group was the most talked about issue this week. They opened an LGBT flag in Presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally, and right in the front! People said they are trolls, and asked who would recognize the LGBT flag in the rally and how can there be gays who are AK Party supporters. So I got together with AK LGBT founder Melih (28) and member Ali (26) with similar questions in mind. Kadir (40) from the Conservative Gay Community (MEŞCİT) that observes the AK LGBT also came to the interview. Even though his thoughts are completely opposite of the AK LGBT, he had lots to contribute as well.
They met at common ground as conservative gays at some points. A long conversation that was interrupted by a telephone that plays the call to prayer. None of the three wanted to give their names or have their faces visible.
Being Muslim and gay are two things that are not thought together. Homosexuality is a sin in Islam. What do you think about this?
Melih: Yes, it is contrary according to Islam. But alcohol and slander are also sins in Islam. We commit zina [unlawful sexual intercourse] knowingly. I think that something given by birth cannot be considered a sin by Islam. If you are born gay but do not commit zina, that’s not a sin. If you commit zina and homosexuality, then that is a sin. Being gay does not necessarily mean having sexual intercourse. In terms of sin, we are sinners but we are not kicked out of the religion.
Ali: Being gay and being Muslim are two separate things… My homosexuality is not a barrier to me praying or fasting. No one can say “don’t pray” to someone who drinks alcohol. That would be speaking for God in a way. God says “I forgive the one who drinks alcohol but I don’t forgive you because you speak for me”. Homosexuality is like that as well. God may say “He is a homosexual but I will forgive him because he has done a good deed.” Homosexuality in Islam is based on Lot. In Lot, it is not intercourse with men, I mean homosexual intercourse. It is also incestious relations, claiming equality with God, defaming the prophet, corrupting society…