16/03/2023 | Writer: Selma Koçak

According to the report prepared by the Speak Up Platform for 2022, “public morality” is going on to be the main justification of the censorship. And the hate against LGBTI+s became the main component of AKP’s election campaign.

“Hate against LGBTI+s is the main component of AKP’s election campaign” Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Speak Up Platform released its report entitled “Reports on Censorship and Self-Censorship in Turkey: January-December 2022”.

Censorship against LGBTI+s is evaluated through sample cases under a separate heading within the scope of the report which states the following as a general assessment: “It is possible to consider the violations of freedom of expression and even the hateful attitude adopted against those who exercise their freedom of expression as a sentimental investment targeting voters, not only as a menace.”

When the bans and censorship are not enough, the courts get involved

In the section titled “Public morality is going on to be the main justification of the censorship” of the report, the year 2022 is summarized as follows: 

“Cultural and artistic events, particularly film screenings, held by LGBTIQ+s or related to LGBTIQ+s  were banned; films and TV series were censored on the grounds of public morality, private companies took their cultural and artistic ‘products’ off the market due to the same justification and the artists were targeted by the authorities of the government on the grounds of public morality and they were sentenced by the courts.”

The bans on the events and march in Pride month, annulment of the concerts of some singers who support LGBTI+ rights, being targeted, leading role of private companies such as Disney+ and Netflix in censoring LGBTIQ+-related content in line with the demands of state authorities, are among the sample cases evaluated within the scope of the report.

Censorship will increase as elections approach

According to the report of the Platform, hate campaign against LGBTIQ+s has become the main component of Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s great election campaign for the general elections in May. Speak Up Platform is also worried that censorship would increase as the elections approach:

“Unfortunately it seems that we will witness censorship for cultural and art activities more and more accompanied by the rhetoric of ‘public morality’ and ‘national and religious values’ as the elections approach.”

Click to reach the whole text of the report in Turkish. 

Tags: human rights, media, arts and culture