An international anti-LGBTQ movement is making headway in Turkey, where the government is presenting homosexuality and transgenderism as an imposition of Western imperialism

Kursat Mican scrolled through pictures on his phone as I sat across from him at a large wooden desk. He showed me one photo: a painting of a man in a blue dress. He scrolled on, then paused and held up the phone again. This one is of two lesbians, he told me.

We were meeting at offices owned by the Yesevi Alperenler Association, a nationalist Islamist organization run by Mican, who also leads a coalition of conservative Turkish nongovernmental organizations. Dressed in a blue suit and shirt, Mican fidgeted with his pen as we talked. The 41-year-old was affable, but was eager to get to his next task.

“There was a belly dancer in front of a mosque, there were naked statues where you can see their body details, and symbols of satanism,” Mican told me. He was describing the works featured in an exhibition at ArtIstanbul Feshane, a cultural center in Istanbul’s Eyup neighborhood. In Mican’s view, the show was disrespectful of Islam and Turkey, and an attempt at spreading LGBTQ “propaganda.” “The owners of the artwork and the organizer of the exhibition will be punished,” he said.

Posted in

Iron Will

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.