13:28 GMT +315 December 2017
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    A LGBT member waves a rainbow flag during a rally staged by the LGBT community on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on June 26, 2016

    Turkish Officials Ban All LGBT Events in Capital Ankara for 'Peace and Security'

    © AFP 2017/ OZAN KOSE
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    The governor’s office in Ankara has prohibited the public showing of all films, exhibitions and events related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities. LGBT communities, however, are not banned in the country and are legally registered with the state.

    "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 office of the capital's governor said in its statement on Sunday, referring to a number of such activities which were previously planned across the region.

    The statement further suggested that "a part of society with different qualities in terms of social class, race, religion, sect, or region could therefore explicitly incite another part [of the society] to grudges and enmity, posing an open and imminent danger in terms of public safety."

    READ MORE: Erdogan Slams EU: 'Gays, Turtles More Important to the West Than Syrians!'

    The move comes shortly after Ankara authorities banned a German gay film festival citing "public safety and terrorism risks." Four movies by German directors were scheduled to be screened during the two-day event, which was organized jointly by the German Embassy and the Pink Life QueerFest, a project of Turkish (LGBT) Solidarity Association in Ankara, on November 16-17.

    "Considering that the content could incite grudges and enmity towards a part of society… and the intelligence reports that terror organizations are seeking to attack dissident groups or individuals, it is evaluated that this film screening could be provocative and draw reactions," the Ankara Governor’s Office said in its statement on November 15.

    ​Although homosexuality is not banned in Turkey and numerous LGBTI associations are legally registered, the above moves prompted rights activists to insist that LGBTI individuals face discrimination.

    ​However, annual LGBT pride marches, which had gone ahead peacefully in Istanbul for 13 years,  have been banned for the last three years following a vocal campaign by local hate groups.

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    activities, ban, LGBT, Turkey, Ankara
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