Turkey bans all LGBTQ events in Ankara due to public security concerns

A rally staged by the LGBT community in Istanbul in June 2016

Turkish officials have banned all events organised by LGBTQI groups in the country’s capital Ankara amid security concerns.

The announcement which was made on Saturday also stated that the ban applies to all LGBTQI film screenings, theatres, panels and exhibitions.

The ban has been imposed to protect “public security”, the Ankara governor’s office said.

The restrictions came into effect immediately and will last for an “indefinite period”.

The governor’s office claimed such events may cause animosity between different groups and endanger “health and morality”, as well as the rights and freedoms of others.

It warned some groups may be provoked by LGBTQI events and take action against participants due to “certain social sensitivities”.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey and numerous LGBTQI associations are legally registered with the state.

In June, 25 LGBTQI activists were arrested after attending a banned Pride march.

They were later charged with participating in an unauthorised demonstration.

Istanbul’s local government had banned the march at the last minute on the grounds “it might lead to provocative actions and disrupt the public order”.

Police in riot gear broke up the parade, firing rubber bullets at demonstrators, after organisers decided to press ahead with the event.

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