Though not technically illegal, homosexuality in Turkey remains largely taboo. Perhaps it’s for this reason that coppers nabbed 18 gay activists for “prostitution”. Or perhaps there’s more to the story. Turkish Daily News reports:
Eighteen members of the “Rainbow Association,” an association for transvestites, transsexuals, gays, and lesbians in Bursa were taken into custody on Saturday on charges of “forming a gang to commit crimes, being an associate with a gang, and inciting prostitution.”
Turkish officials have come down on the Rainbow Association before, but some say they’re in the right on this one. One source, who chose to remain anonymous, told the press that the group’s leader, Ã–ykÃ¼ Erven, may have had some shady business practices. Still, this remains solely speculation. Another anonymous tipster, however, confirms that Erven did, in fact, run brothels. None of the eighteen detainees have spoken with the press, obviously but are expected to appear in court over the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.