Murat Hazinedar, mayor of İstanbul’s Beşiktaş district, apologized for a tweet from the municipality’s official account on the occasion of LGBT Pride Week.
In a series of tweets from his personal account, Hazinedar said the tweet was sent by a “meddlesome” staff member who operates the social media accounts of the municipality but does not represent views of the municipality or himself.
“The tweet represents neither the Beşiktaş Municipality nor myself and was deleted after I was informed about it while on a visit to Ağrı. Our attitude cannot be to encourage homosexuality. Our beliefs and perspective toward social life prohibit that,” Hazinedar, a member of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said.
He also added, “We are soldiers solely for the values of the Prophet Muhammad, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and our nation.”
On June 19, the Beşiktaş Municipality’s official Twitter account shared an image of an LGBT flag hung on the facade of its building with a caption reading “We are the soldiers of Freddie Mercury.”
Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist of Queen, was widely considered a gay icon, with his LGBT fanbase growing in the 1980s.
The tweet was deleted from the account after a few hours.