The student received a message saying she’d be thrown off a building if she continued to promote the event.
A political sciences student at Ankara University in Turkey, Nazli Ikra Öztay, has been threatened with murder for organising an event about LGBTQ+ rights.
Nazli organised an ‘LGBTI+ rights struggle on campus’ lecture, and announced the details on WhatsApp. However, Birgün reports that Nazli then faced death threats for the event.
“I was confronted with a private message saying, ‘Delete that immoral message’,” she explained. She said a friend of hers received a similar message.
The deeply worrying message that Nazli received read: “Delete that message and do not again make the (Whatsapp) group a grounds for your depravity again. We’ll never get used to it, and we’ll throw you off tall buildings.”
The message is a reference to the way that terrorist organisation ISIS kills LGBTQ+ individuals, with the murders often filmed and published online.
The Mülkiye Women’s Solidarity defended Nazli, writing in a statement: “We remind you again; none of our female friends, the subject of the LGBTI + struggle, or our rights defender friend are alone. We are side by side and strong together against hate language and bullying!”
Nazli and her friend found the person who sent the message, a freshman political sciences student, and found that he was also a member of a jihadist gang who lived in Syria from “time to time.”
It is unknown if the student has faced any consequences for their message.
Although homosexuality is legal in Turkey, LGBTQ+ people have barely any rights. Pride festivals are routinely banned, and if they go ahead, supporters are repressed by police, sometimes violently.
“As a public broadcaster we cannot broadcast live at 9pm, when children are watching, an Austrian with a beard and a skirt, who claims not to have a gender and says ‘I am a man and a woman at the same time’,” said Ibrahim Eren, who used to run the Radio and Television Corporation.
“There is some kind of confusion of mentality here… once this is corrected we will return to Eurovision.”
Earlier this week, the Turkish clothing retailer, LC Waikiki, sent an email to staff banning designs that featured LGBTQ+ imagery, such as rainbows and unicorns.
Management for the brand were said to be “disturbed” about the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in June.