Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, known for his anti-LGBT statements, has said LGBT foundations in the country are receiving a significant amount of foreign funding but that they are still unable to corrupt Turkish family values, Turkish media reported.
“There is significant funding for LGBT foundations from abroad. How do we manage to keep our values? We do because our family structure is strong,” Soylu said at a meeting with local neighborhood officials, or muhtars, in the western province of Bursa.
Soylu said he is sure that no parents are asking muhtars to promote LGBT activities in their neighborhoods since such activities are promoted by foreign actors, namely the US and the EU.
He said it was thought provoking that foreign countries were providing funds for LGBT foundations in Turkey.
Although homosexuality has been legal throughout modern Turkey’s history, gay people regularly face harassment and abuse.
In October Soylu slammed a decision by the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) to place Turkey under increased monitoring, saying the move aimed to punish Turkey for taking action against the LGBT community.
Soylu said the LGBT community had corrupted the society and that as a Muslim state they would not allow such perversity. “You [Western countries] are involved in all kinds of perverse acts that we as a Muslim country will not allow,” he said.
In recent years LGBT events have been prohibited, including Istanbul Pride, which was banned in 2014 after taking place every year since 2003.
Turkey was ranked 48th among 49 countries as regards the human rights of LGBT people, according to the 2021 Rainbow Europe Map published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)-Europe in May.
In a controversial sermon in April 2020 Ali Erbaş, the head of Turkey’s top religious authority, the Diyanet, which runs mosques and appoints imams, claimed that homosexuality caused HIV and that all the evil and pandemics in the world are caused by homosexuality.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stood behind Erbaş’s remarks targeting the LGBT community at the time.