Turkey's Erdogan denounces LGBT youth as police arrest students

Violent clashes during Turkey student protests

ISTANBUL, Turkey- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday lashed out at Turkey's LGBT movement, accusing it of "vandalism" and distancing his party's youth from its cause.

On Tuesday night, 159 people were detained at Boğaziçi University as almost 200 students found themselves penned in with no escape, while up to six snipers were seen on buildings outside the university gates.

Intensifying weeks of tension at a top Istanbul university, Turkey's interior minister on Tuesday called student protesters "LGBT deviants" on Twitter, prompting the social media platform to put a rare warning on his comment.

Students at the protest chanted slogans like "We do not want appointed rectors", "We will not stop" and "Take your hand off the universities".

A third-year sociology student, Yaren Bozar described the police presence to The Telegraph as "an army".

"You are not the LGBT youth, not the youth who commit acts of vandalism". Erdogan demanded in a televised video linkup with his party faithful. "We will never allow it", Erdogan said Wednesday.

Last month's student rallies had echoes of the 2013 protests that sprang up against plans to demolish an Istanbul park before spreading nationally and presenting a direct challenge to Erdogan's rule.

Four students were arrested Saturday for their part in creating this artwork and police raided the LGBT student clubs at the university, seizing "books on an outlawed Kurdish group and rainbow flags" according to the Associated Press.

He redoubled those attacks on Wednesday.

Erdogan said "there is no such thing" as LGBT. "This country is. moral, and it will walk to the future with these values".

Meanwhile, police in Istanbul used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a new demonstration to denounce Bulu's appointment, Halk TV television reported.

Bulu once ran for office on the ticket of Erdogan's dominant Justice and Development Party (AKP) and holds a doctorate in finance, but has been criticized as unqualified for the position of rector at a major university.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu branded the suspects "four LGBT freaks".

"They have occupied the rector's office".

But the scandal over the poster has thrust it in the centre of Turkish politics and seen it come under growing political attack.

Turkish police accused four people of "inciting hatred in the population".

Twitter's move comes after Turkey a year ago required social media firms to appoint a representative in the country to deal with requests for content removal, and Erdogan vowed to defend what he called Turkey's "cyber homeland".

Homosexuality is not technically illegal in modern Turkey, but Erdogan has frowned upon it as he sought to position himself as one of the Middle East's strongest champions of Islamic values. He was rector of Halic University in Istanbul before assuming the new post.

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