In Turkey, two students were arrested on charges of inciting hate and undermining religious beliefs over a poster showing the most holy site of Islam, the Kaaba, with LGBT flags.
Their detention late on Saturday came after top Turkish officials slammed the poster on display at the most prestigious Bogazici University exhibition in Turkey. For weeks, students and faculty have been protesting the selection of a new rector by the Turkish president with ties to his political party, and clashes with the police have broken out.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted that “LGBT perverts” had been arrested for “disrespecting [Kaaba] the Great.” The poster was criticised by top government officials from the nationalist, Islamic-based ruling party of Turkey.
The poster put on the place of worship, along with the flags of LGBT, bisexual, queer, and asexual women, a legendary beast of half-woman and half-snake found in Middle Eastern mythology. The subsequent text said that the artwork was a criticism of stereotypical gender stereotypes.
The Governor’s Office of Istanbul said five persons were initially arrested and two more suspects were being investigated by the police. One entity was released, two were held under house arrest, and two were detained awaiting trial.