Pride event in Turkey
An LGBT Pride event in Turkey Source: StepFeed

All LGBT events have been banned in Turkey's capital until further notice, with "public sensitivities" and "security" cited as the reasons.

"Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, considering public sensitivities, any events such as LGBT ... cinema, theater performances, panels, interviews and exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province, in order to provide peace and security," the Ankara Governor’s Office said on Nov. 19, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Referencing numerous LGBT-focused events planned by various NGOs, the governor's office said such activities pose "an open and imminent danger in terms of public safety" as they may "incite another part [of the society] to grudges and enmity."

Men kissing at an LGBT pride event in Turkey

The move from Ankara's local government comes after a gay German film festival, scheduled to take place last week, was canceled in the city. The event was organized by the German Embassy and the Pink Life QueerFest. 

Gay pride events have also been banned in Turkey for the past three years.

"Our security cannot be provided by imprisoning us behind walls, asking us to hide," organizers of Pride events have previously said, according to The Independent. "Our security will be provided by recognizing us in the constitution, by securing justice, by equality and freedom."

Despite the blanket ban on Pride events, activists have moved forward with marches facing down riot police, water cannons and arrest. In June of this year, 25 demonstrators were arrested for attending a banned Pride event.

Although the bans would suggest otherwise, homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey and many LGBT groups are legally recognized in the country. In 2014, Turkey's Supreme Court even ruled that referring to homosexuals as "perverts" constitutes hate speech.

But due to conservative views and widespread stigma, discrimination against the community continues.

LGBT groups have also accused the Turkish government of violating their rights by banning their activities.

The government "has chosen to violate [the laws] guaranteed by the Constitution," the  Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee said in 2016, according to The Washington Post, "instead of protecting us against the threats that it has put forth as grounds for the ban."

On social media, many have expressed their solidarity with the Turkish LGBT community

"This is horrible"

"Worrying news"