Targeted by Erdogan, Turkey's LGBT face 'tsunami of hate'

Rising homophobic discourse, a series censored for a gay character, boycotted pro-LGBT brands: this growing animosity has shaken a once vibrant community in Turkey and tarnished the image of a country long considered an oasis of tolerance in the Muslim world.

Video Transcript

[CHATTER]

- [SPEAKING TURKISH]

[CHATTER]

ALAZ ADA YENER: [SPEAKING TURKISH]

- The government thinks that--

- If they have become more pr--

- [INAUDIBLE] the assessment of people's perception-- I don't know you're aware of it.

- Yes, yes. Of course.

- [INAUDIBLE] have never had this much visibility in this society.

- Yes.

- And--

- We have seen this so many times in Turkey, that hate speech encourages hate crimes. So instead of protecting the rights of a very vulnerable group in Turkey, the government is doing just the opposite. By attacking them, they're creating an atmosphere in which hate crimes towards LGBTI+ people become, you know, more possible.

[CHATTER]

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: [SPEAKING TURKISH]

- The government is trying to impose its will on the university, and to legitimize this it's using certain feelings, such as homophobia and transphobia, or religious values, or stigmatizing the students as terrorists. So the government is using all these tactics, all these smear tactics.

[CHATTER]