Turkey rejects call to censor media coverage of gay pride as ‘pornographic’

According to leading Turkish charities, such images of Istanbul pride are pornographic, harm children and attack public morality. DAN LITTAUER | Special to LGBTQ Nation

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkey’s media regulator has rejected a demand by influential Turkish charities to censor coverage of LGBT events in the country’s media.

A group of leading conservative Turkish charities slammed media organizations for covering this year’s Istanbul gay pride.

According to leading Turkish charities, such images of Istanbul pride are pornographic, harm children and attack public morality.

In a statement signed by 74 charities on Friday, the organizations described Istanbul gay pride as “an attack against public morality and core values.”

The statement called for censorship of reporting on LGBT events, and condemned printing photos of pride participants, which it deemed irresponsible and “pornographic.”

“Images of pride participants are pornographic and against our values!” the statement read.

The group claims that gay pride photographs in the media are “easily accessible by kids and youngsters” and therefore “worrying for our values and the future of our children.”

The statement demanded that Turkish news organizations act according to “media morality principles,” published as a guideline in 1994.

That advisement said media organizations should avoid reporting on activities “which would harm the personality development of children and young people with what is deemed by society as immoral.”

“Signers of this statement condemn strongly the media organs which irresponsibly shared the photo of the gay pride online and in printed which is an attack to public morality and our core values,” the statement said.

Pınar Türenç, president of the Media Council, Turkey’s media regulator, rejected the demands and said “such claims about morality should not be taken seriously,” but added that “a formal procedure will take place to follow up their complaint.”

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