German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth has criticized a recent ban by the Ankara Governor’s Office on a German Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) film festival scheduled for Nov. 16 and Nov. 17.
“The Ankara Governor’s Office banned our embassy’s #LGBT Film Festival. The freedom of arts and minority rights are inviolable and this should also be applied to Turkey. Our colleagues in Ankara are giving their attitude very clearly by unfurling the [LGBT] flag. Thanks,” Roth tweeted on Nov. 17 both in German and Turkish, referring to an LGBT flag draped outside the embassy building.
The Ankara Governor’s Office on Nov. 16 banned the LGBT film festival organized by the German Embassy and Pink Life QueerFest, citing “public safety” and “terrorism” risks.
Four movies by German directors had been scheduled for screening as part of the festival, which was planned for Nov. 16-17 in the capital.
“Considering that the content could incite grudges and enmity towards a part of society … and the intelligence reports that terror organizations are seeking to attack dissident groups or individuals, it has been evaluated that this film screening could be provocative and draw reactions,” the Ankara Governor’s Office had stated.
The organizers Pink Life QueerFest also stated that the festival had been attacked on social media.
“Suggesting that these screenings could be provocative or targeted by terror groups only serves to legitimize those people and institutions that produce hate speech towards us and see our existence as a threat,” they said in a statement.
“It only goes to deprive us of our constitutional rights under the name of ‘protection,’” the statement added.
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