Islamists attack Turkey ‘kissing protest’

About 200 people staged the kissing protest on Saturday and Sunday after officials admonished a young couple for kissing in the street. (Photo courtesy: EPA)

Islamists attacked a group of kissing couples who locked lips in a Turkish metro station to protest a morality campaign by the authorities in Ankara, the local press reported on Sunday.

One person was stabbed when about 20 Islamists chanting “Allah Akhbar” (God is Greatest) and some carrying knives attacked the demonstrators on Saturday, the Milliyet and Hurriyet newspapers reported.

About 200 people staged the kissing protest after officials in the Ankara municipality, which is run by Turkey’s ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), admonished a young couple for kissing in the street.

Turkey is predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular, although the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has introduced several measures opponents see as a sign of the creeping Islamization of the country, including restrictions on alcohol.

On Saturday, dozens of couples have locked lips at a subway stop in Ankara, to protest subway authorities' admonishment of a couple that kissed in public.

Turkish media say that, earlier in the week, Ankara subway officials made an announcement asking passengers "to act in accordance with moral rules" after security cameras spotted the couple kissing.

The issue prompted an opposition lawmaker to question the Islamist-rooted ruling party, which many secularists fear wants to expand the role of Islam in Turkey, about whether subway officials were authorized to make such demands.

Some 100 people in the station kissed for several minutes in protest Saturday. Demonstrators carried signs reading "Free Kisses" and chanted slogans.

A pro-Islamist group of some 20 people staged a counter-protest. Police set up barricades between the groups.

 

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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