Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday defended a top religious official who claimed homosexuality caused diseases, corrupted people and was condemned in Islamic teaching.
Ali Erbas, head of a state-funded agency called the Diyanet, which runs mosques and appoints imams, also claimed during his weekly sermon that homosexuality caused HIV.
The Ankara bar association of lawyers accused him of inciting hatred against gay people while ignoring child abuse and misogyny.
But Erdogan dismissed the criticism, saying “an attack against the Diyanet chief is an attack on the state” before adding: “What he said was totally right.”
Erdogan’s allies have attempted to shut down criticism of Erbas – Ankara prosecutors have opened a probe into the bar association for “insulting the religious values adopted by a section of society” and Diyanet has made a criminal complaint against the lawyers.
Read more: AFP