A toilet in a luxury shopping mall in Istanbul is at the center of the latest battle pitting Turkey’s LGBTQ community against the country’s conservative government that rode to victory in last month’s presidential and parliamentary polls on the back of polarizing rhetoric targeting gays and other minorities.
The furor erupted last week after video footage was released of a bathroom door that was marked with a rainbow and unisex sign, igniting expressions of outrage on social media. Users called for a boycott of the Kanyon complex in Istanbul’s Sisli district. “We will not allow this to be normalized,” vowed one pro-government account in a typical reaction. “LGBT terror, which poses a global threat, is continuing to spread everywhere,” screeched Takvim, a pro-government propaganda outlet. Many also took particular umbrage at a pink neon sign in the English language on the toilet’s wall that said “THINK BIG.”
🔴 Şişli'de bulunan Kanyon Alışveriş Merkezi'nde LGBT'lilere özel tuvalet açıldığı ortaya çıktı. pic.twitter.com/1wcLuyh80u
— Daily Islamist (@dailyislamist) June 8, 2023