Colors Promoting UN Goals or LGBTQ Rights? Erdogan’s Concerns

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan voiced his discomfort with the use of what he referred to as "LGBT colors."

Turkey’s President Raises Concerns

President Erdogan expressed his desire to discuss this matter with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. This concern arises within the context of Turkey’s evolving stance on LGBTQ freedoms, as the country’s government, led by Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party, has increasingly tightened its policies in this regard.

Erdogan was quoted as saying, “One of the issues that bothers me the most… is that when entering the United Nations General Assembly, you see the LGBT colors on steps and other places.” He also added, “How many LGBT are there in the world right now? However much right they have on these steps, those against LGBT have as much right as well.”

It’s worth noting that Erdogan has previously referred to members of the LGBTQ community as “deviants” and adopted a more stringent rhetoric during his recent election campaign.

Clarification from U.N. Diplomats

Interestingly, some U.N. diplomats have suggested that Erdogan may have mistaken the 17 different colors associated with the Sustainable Development Goals, which currently adorn parts of the U.N. headquarters, including its steps. These colors were displayed in conjunction with a recent summit, for the rainbow Pride colors typically associated with LGBTQ rights.

Guterres’ Stance on LGBTQ Rights

While U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and has consistently addressed issues related to discrimination, there are no rainbow Pride colors at the U.N. headquarters promoting LGBTQ rights. At the time of reporting, a spokesperson for Guterres had not provided an official response to Erdogan’s remarks.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in 2015 with a deadline set for 2030, form a comprehensive global agenda. These goals encompass critical objectives such as eradicating hunger and extreme poverty, combating climate change, reducing inequality, and promoting gender equality.

LGBTQ Rights in Turkey

Homosexuality is not considered a criminal offense in Turkey; however, the country grapples with widespread hostility towards LGBTQ individuals. Over the years, law enforcement authorities have intensified their crackdowns on Pride parades, raising concerns about the protection of LGBTQ rights within the nation.

In conclusion, President Erdogan’s concerns about the use of “LGBT colors” at the United Nations have sparked a broader discussion about the intersection of LGBTQ rights and global goals. While his comments may have stemmed from a misunderstanding regarding the purpose of the displayed colors, they shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in various parts of the world, including Turkey.

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