Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recommenced his re-election campaign by delivering an anti-LGBTQ+ speech during a rally in the city of Izmir.

Erdoğan made the comments on Saturday, the 29th of April, following a brief pause in his campaign while he recovered from a stomach infection.

According to reports by The Times, Erdoğan addressed a crowd for an hour, stating that the foundation of families in Turkey remains strong and that LGBTQ+ individuals have no place in the country, emphasizing the importance of traditional gender roles, and urging people to “stand up straight, like a man.”


Since being elected in 2014, the 69-year-old leader has frequently expressed opposition to LGBTQ+ rights.

As reported by Bianet, in a recent speech before his illness-induced hiatus, Erdoğan labelled all opposition parties as “pro-LGBT” and encouraged young voters to distance themselves from these parties.

Erdoğan also stated that the group known as People’s Alliance (an electoral coalition that includes his Justice and Development Party) is committed to upholding the sanctity of the ‘holy family,’ adding to the increased anti_LGBTQ+ rhetoric being employed in recent years by the Turkish government.

This anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment has also been prevalent within broader Turkish society, with a large-scale protest recently taking place in Istanbul, where thousands of participants demanded the government ban “LGBTQ+ propaganda.”

Other instances of Anti_LGBTQ+ rhetoric b the Turkish president include Erdoğan describing queer youth as “vandals” while commending young members of his party for not identifying as LGBTQ+.

Turkish citizens are set to cast their votes on the 14th of May.