There has been a new slur trending in Turkey these days, and it reads #YallahHollandaya, or “Go to Holland”. It is aimed at the LGBTQ+ population, and it reflects the longstanding acceptance of homosexuality in the Netherlands, having been the first country to legalize gay marriage. However, the LGBTQ+ population in the Netherlands don’t have it easy either, as two gay men in Amsterdam were recently verbally and physically attacked by Muslim youths. The group spat in their faces, which is a particularly dangerous assault during these times.
Turkish Religious Affairs Chairman Ali Erbas recently declared that Islam condemns adultery and “curses homosexuality”, which, according to him, “causes illnesses and withers the generation”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan quickly supported his statement.
Sofia Taloni, a trans Moroccan woman living in Turkey began outing gay Moroccan men on her popular Instagram profile, which has more than 600k followers. As homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, Taloni called on Moroccan women to set up fake accounts on gay chat sites and apps like Grindr, and leaked photos of members of those groups quickly began circulating on the internet, leading to death threats and calls to attack these gay men.
Apparently, Taloni’s campaign has been personal, and not religiously based. She told the Moroccan Times that they (the gay population, we assume) started this ‘war’ because she’s very successful on various social media platforms. However, the religious prejudices of Moroccan Islamists have put the lives of thousands of gay men at risk.
The issue in Turkey quickly became political, and Erdogan rushed to defend Erbas from criticism and from a lawsuit filed by the Ankara Bar Association, which accused him of spreading hatred.
Erdogan stated that an attack on Erbas is an attack on the state, and that “what he said was totally right”. A spokesperson for Erdogan’s AKP party has since shared on Twitter that Erbas had “voiced divine judgment”.