Delegates gather at the start of a high-level summit on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, USA, 18 September 2023. EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Erdogan rejects colors of UN Sustainable Development Goals because they resemble LGBT flag

Ankara, Sept 22 (EFE).- Turkey’s president, conservative Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, complained to local media on Friday that the United Nations headquarters in New York is decorated with “LGBT colors,” referring to the roulette of colors representing the Sustainable Development Goals that adorned the building this week.

“When you enter the UN General Assembly, you see the LGBT colors on the steps and in some other areas,” the head of state told Turkish media after participating in this forum at the UN headquarters in New York.

The UN plenary hall was decorated with bright colors promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, which Erdogan linked to the rainbow flag that symbolizes the LGBT rights movement.

Erdogan said he would like to speak to UN Secretary-General António Guterres about the presence of these colors, claiming that there are more leaders “upset” by the decorations.

“Right now, some leaders are pro-LGBT and some are anti-LGBT…. They have as much right to be on the steps of the UN as those who are anti-LGBT. This is a humanitarian issue and it is important to know that there are people who are upset,” argued Erdogan, whose discourse against homosexuals has hardened in recent years.

The president even declared that “there are attempts to weaken the family through perverse movements in order to bring about the collapse of society.”

“In our country, we have never allowed and will never allow the attempts of these deviant movements against our family structure and our youth,” he promised in remarks reported by local media on Friday.

The electoral alliance with which Erdogan and his party, the Islamist AKP, won the presidential and parliamentary elections last May had as part of its platform the shutting down of LGBT organizations and guaranteeing the protection of the “institution of the family” in the constitution.

Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since 1858, and between 2003 and 2014 an annual Gay Pride march was held in Istanbul, but it was banned as Erdogan moved toward more Islamist positions. EFE

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) arrives to address the delegates during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA, 19 September 2023. EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE