Following the June 12, 2016 attack on the gay nightclub in Orlando, many Islamist Turkish dailies close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan featured articles accusing the U.S. government and foreign intelligence agencies of carrying out the attack, with the aim of curbing the rise of Islam in the U.S. in the aftermath of the passing of legendary Muslim boxer Muhammad Ali. Dozens of outlets of the ruling AKP's Islamist media circulated conspiracy theories, anti-gay sentiment, and hatred of the infidel West. Some even claimed that the U.S. is murdering its own citizens in make-believe terrorist attacks in order to fuel Islamophobia.
The victims of the Orlando attack were described as "perverts." Islamist youth organizations threatened Turkey's LGBT community, saying they would "stop this perversion... by all means necessary" if it held its "immoral" Pride Parades, set for June 19 and 26 in Istanbul, on the "sacred soil" of this Muslim country. They called on Muslims to come to Istanbul's Taksim Square, the parades' starting point, on the appointed days to stop the "perverts" through violence. As a result, the Office of the Governor of Istanbul banned the parade. Anti-Islamist Turkish columnists suggested that these organizations constituted the "pious, hateful, and vengeful youth" that Erdogan had said repeatedly throughout February 2012 that he wanted to raise in Turkey.
Following are some examples of articles and reports from the Turkish Islamist AKP media:
Islamist Yeni Akit Daily: "Death Toll Rises To 50 In Bar Where Perverted Homosexuals Go!"
The June 12, 2016 report of the Orlando attack in the pro-AKP Islamist daily Yeni Akit, which has strong ties to Erdogan and is known for its expressions of hatred for Jews, Christians, gays, and the West, came under the headline "Death Toll Rises To 50 In Bar Where Perverted Homosexuals Go!" It also tweeted the article under that headline.
In subsequent reports and updates on the attack, the newspaper called members of the LGBT community "perverts" and "deviants" and called homosexuality an "assault on human nature," and "a dangerous disease that degenerates, rots, and endangers societies" that "can and must be cured," and citing multiple verses from the Koran. Yeni Akit also expressed outrage at the fact that its Facebook posts reflecting the sentiment of Muslim Turks were censored by the platform, while "anti-Islam" and "anti-Prophet [Muhammad]" statements were always allowed.
Islamist Columnist: "A Timely Operation" By The U.S. "To Break The Growing Wave Of Islam After Muhammad Ali's Death"; Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen, Like The Tsarnaev Brothers, Had Contact With The FBI And "Was Probably Assigned The Job"
Ergun Diler, columnist for the pro-AKP Islamist daily Takvim, wrote in his June 14, 2016 column under the headline "A Timely Operation": "ISIS was expected in France EURO16 but appeared in Orlando; it attacked the Pulse club, killed 50 people, and wounded 53 in a bloodbath. Police captured him [the shooter] dead. This is the STORY!
"Who could have carried out this bloodiest attack in America's history? A MUSLIM terrorist of course! And so it was. The one who spread the terror was 29-year-old Omer Siddiq Metin [using common Turkish spelling] of Afghan origin. There were claims that he hated homosexuals.
"If the aggressor is Muslim, then the organization behind him had to be Muslim too. So they found that too: ISIS. They served this information to the world through multiple channels, and A GIGANTIC LIE TURNED INTO A HUGE TRUTH!
"This is how America is. They set the game, then make all others believe.
"It's important, however, to look at the event from a different angle. Omer Siddik Metin was a person who had contact with the FBI. He was taken, interrogated, and set free. He was someone the government knew and followed, and he was probably assigned the job.
"We saw the [same] story in Boston with the Tsarnaev brothers. They too were surveilled by the government. Strangely, it was always those who were surveilled WERE THE ONES COMMITTING THE MASSACRES! Boston, Paris, Belgium, San Bernardino were all False Flag operations, just like Orlando. Without a shred of doubt, this was the job of intelligence agencies. The CIA's!
"Why did the Orlando massacre happen at this specific time? This operation was conducted right after Muhammad Ali's funeral! With the death of Ali, the hero of all of us [Muslims], a wave of Islam began, especially in the U.S. It became a natural PR for Islam. Everybody began researching and learning about Islam. No one had expected or predicted this. This huge wind had to be reversed. The deep state had to interfere.
"Nobody ever saw Omer Metin hold a gun in his hand. There's not a single witness! Attacking Pulse, which means the gays, was a smart choice to increase the hatred towards ISLAM. But the operation was not perfect and there were mistakes that most people do not know or see. When looking at the dead and the wounded, bullets from eight different guns were found. So, there was more than one Omer Metin!
"The twin Towers, Pentagon, Boston were all works by Muslims. All were Supermen! Orlando too, was such an operation, to break the growing wave of Islam after Muhammad Ali's death.
"Fifty lives are nothing for a state. They can sacrifice them, and they did. What is important for them is to prevent Islam and Muslims from becoming an important axis. This man [Omar Mateen] may have been killed a very long time ago. Now they will serve the media with security camera recordings with doctored dates on them. Just like they did in Brussels.
"Some smart Americans do exist, who believe that the Orlando massacre was an operation conducted by a CIA-M16-MOSSAD partnership. We may never know all the details, but rest assured that this was [such] an operation. Those who want to belittle Islam, and who planned and ordered this attack, are now coming to TURKEY!
"They do not want to see Islam and politics integrated. They do not like a rising Muslim voice in the Middle East! In the lands of petrol and gas, they do not want to see the rise of a local power. They want to control and distribute it all among themselves.
"Orlando was an indirect message to us [Turks]. They do not want a strong Ankara in the Middle East. There are many signs that point to this."
Islamist Columnist: The Americans "Slaughtered Their Own People"; "These False Flag [Terror] Operations Are Organized, One After Another, So That 2% Of Americans [i.e. Jews] Do Not Lose Their Influence"; "There Is No Omer Metin! He Only Exists On TV And In Newspapers"
SUPPORT OUR WORK
The next day, Ergun Diler detailed in his column some more conspiracy theories: "The Turkish state had been closed in on itself, and without even looking at its own region, it occupied itself with domestic struggles, with its own tribes and sects, its businessmen, universities, its leftists and its rightists, its own children. We weren't thinking strategically then. We did not understand the aims of our enemies. We had fears: of Kurds, of Arabs, of Russians, Iranians, British, Americans, Germans. But we had no reason to fear any. WITHOUT US [Turkey] NONE OF THOSE COULD MAKE A MOVE. All we needed was to play this game of chess well.
"Let's go back and look to the Orlando attack, to understand it well, so we can be more prepared for similar events that may happen here. We heard about the attack at the Pulse Club in Orlando, where homosexuals go, as the American media presented it to us. We accepted it as reality. This is what media is for. Fifty people were killed and 53 were wounded. The killer was an Afghan named Omar Metin - if you believe it all!
"They provided serious (!) evidence: Omar Metin had called the emergency line  before the massacre and said, 'I will massacre people. I am a commando of ISIS. I pledge full allegiance to ISIS. You will suffer our vengeance!' But has anyone seen a picture of any one of the 50 that Metin killed? Has anyone seen any footage of the attack? None of the pictures that we were shown was from the Pulse club. What about the 53 wounded taken to hospitals? Has anyone seen their pictures or of families that rushed to hospitals? Strangely, there are none.
"According to some intelligent Americans, only 11 died. And it was later understood that three of those had in fact died on earlier dates. We were face to face with another False Flag operation conducted by intelligence agencies in partnership with media, for political gain. They had to first find a MUSLIM TERRORIST who did not even know how to hold a gun. Then they had to find a group of victims that would help increase the anger: HOMOSEXUALS! The two were combined and sealed with 'ISLAM IS TERRORIST'!
"Exactly as in 9/11, the Boston [Marathon] attack, Charlie Hebdo, San Bernardino, and Brussels. Look at all these events one by one, the MASTERMIND that organizes these events, never uses a SHI'ITE TERRORIST! You cannot find one. It seems that the war between Muslims and Israel will soon be replaced by SUNNI-SHI'ITE war. All the steps taken in our south [Syria and Iraq] are towards this end.
"They talk on TV about the AR-15 as the gun which was used, but it takes special training to use one of those. And it definitely takes a person to use it!
"But there is no Omer Metin! He only exists on TV and in newspapers! To stop the strong WIND OF ISLAM after Muhammad Ali's death, they slaughtered their own people!
"These False Flag operations are organized, one after another, so that 2% of Americans [i.e. Jews] do not lose their influence. And the RABBI was attacking Turkey when speaking at the Muslim Ali's funeral. But why are they organizing these False Flag operations in France and in America? We must find the strategic reason behind it. France is the foundation stone of Europe and it stood a little too proud and somewhat distant to Washington. If Paris fell, Europe would fall. This means eliminating the EU, as a potential threat. Next in line will be Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey! When you control these countries, you control 80% of the world. No small feat.
"While the deep state in America still cares about maintaining the balance with Turkey and Russia, the OWNERS OF THE MONEY [Jews] now want to control everybody. That was the message [the Rabbi] gave to us at Ali's funeral. They will want to cut us [Turkey] from the Islamic and Muslim world, and will not allow us to do what we want in the Middle East. They have hundreds of specially trained people everywhere. They will try to stop our grand march and change our direction, our foreign and domestic policies. They are unhappy with Turkey's strength, on the axis of the Balkans to Damascus. They do not want the AKP. They will try to spoil our reconciliation efforts with Russia and our neighbors. What they want is to isolate us, to cut us down to size, to shape us.
"This is their PLOT. If we understand it, we will end up still standing. I trust my government and my people. We need not fear, as long as we understand their plots."
Islamist Columnist: "Omer Metin Took Democracy To Orlando!"
Columnist Ismail Kilicarslan of the pro-AKP Yeni Safak, which is closely linked to Erdogan and his AKP party, wrote: "The man got an automatic rifle and a pistol and within minutes he succeeded in killing 50 people and wounded that many more. Had we seen this in a Hollywood film wouldn't we say 'this is too much to be believable?' But here it was, in real life. Omer Metin was calling 911 to tell them that he was dedicated to ISIS, and was turning an Orlando bar into hell.
"What we see is that for the last 10 years, in order to carry out a successful terror attack, one does not need to be organically attached to a higher structure [i.e. a terrorist organization]. Now, the world is a place where no one can feel safe. Omer Metin and many like him have reached a level where they can 'take democracy' anywhere in the world.
"Yes, democracy! If America takes democracy to Iraq, and Russia [takes it] to Syria, why can't Omer Metin take democracy to Orlando? All three are the same...
"The same day as the Orlando attack, 50 people were killed in a Russian bombardment of Aleppo. They were not Americans, gays, Westerners, Christians, or white. Therefore, this damned world could turn a blind eye.
"There is no news in the media related to Orlando that does not begin with emphasis on the fact that the location was a 'gay bar.' Strong emphasis and fiction: 'Intolerant, wife beating, disturbed ISIS militant killed Americans who were practicing their freedom of sexual orientation. These people attack our way of life.' None of those imperialists and their 'lifestyle' advocates have a word to say about their dog-like order that takes away the Aleppo children's freedom to live. It is all about their order, their piss-filled lifestyle.
"It may all be because we do not raise our voices loudly enough and do more against their stupid, dog-like order... Yes, it's all about your precious way of life. Blaming people whose right to life you take away befits dogs and the despicable imperialists that you are."
Islamist Groups Call Homosexuality "Immoral," "Perverted," "Deviant," "A Disease"; "If Our Government Officials Do Not Stop This Perversion, We, As The Representatives Of Our People, Will Do So, By All Means Necessary"
While secular, modern, anti-Islamist Turks expressed sorrow over and solidarity with the Orlando victims, Islamist anti-gay sentiment peaked, with rampant hate speech in pro-AKP TV channels and newspapers. Some Islamist groups threatened the organizers of Pride Parades planned for June 19 and 26 at Istanbul's Taksim Square to mark the beginning and end of the LGBT Pride Week, with an emphasis on solidarity with the Orlando victims.
On social media, Muslim Anatolia Youth wrote to members and like-minded Islamists: "We, the real owners of the Anatolian land, will not permit the immoral deviants of the LGBT herd to hold the march that they organized for June 26 at 5 PM. We shall be meeting at Taksim Square at 4 PM! We are expecting our conscientious Muslim people to join us there." Subsequently, Facebook removed the posts, and later shut down the group's page.
The ultra-nationalist Islamist Alperen Hearths Foundation held an Istanbul press conference, at which it vowed to never allow a Pride Parade that it said attempts to normalize the immoral. The organization's Istanbul provincial director, Kursat Mican, reiterated the old Turkish saying, "He who won't learn from advice must be reprimanded, and he who doesn't change after being reprimanded deserves a beating," hinting that violence at the parade should be expected. He said that "our response will be very clear and harsh" if the government does not intervene to stop the parade, and added that the LGBT community aimed to show this immorality during the holy month of Ramadan on this Muslim country's "sacred soil" to mock the values of its people. He warned: "If our government officials do not stop this perversion, we, as the representatives our people, will do so, by all means necessary." He added: "We are issuing this advance warning - and therefore we will not be held responsible for the consequences."
Speaking to Yeni Akit, the IHH Islamist organization spokesman Gulden Sonmez expressed the organization's strong opposition to homosexuality and its rejection of the attempt to impose this immorality on society as a right. The statement also called homosexuality "a sickness and a perversion that degenerates and threatens the future of humanity." Many other Islamist organizations reacted in similar ways.
On June 15, the Istanbul branch of the Turkish Human Rights Association filed a legal complaint with the Istanbul Public Prosecutors Office against Muslim Anatolia Youth and Alperen Hearths Foundation for hate speech, discrimination, and incitement against the LGBT community, and for their "invitation to perpetrate a massacre."
On June 17 the Office of the Governor of Istanbul banned the parades planned by the LGBT community; on June 19, Taksim Square was barricaded, and there was a strong police presence in the area to prevent any gathering. Some 50 LGBT community members who met in an adjacent street and wanted to read out a press release to the public were forcibly dispersed, including with rubber bullets and tear gas, after journalists were removed from the area. On June 26, some LGBT community members gathered in small groups in the main street leading to the barricaded Taksim Square. Police arrested them, as well as two European MPs who were there in support of the LGBT community.
Violence at Pride Parades is not new. Last year, police forcibly dispersed the Istanbul Pride Parade; the incident was widely covered and censured by international media.
Police disperse 2015 Istanbul Pride Parade (Source: Hurriyet Daily News, June 28, 2015; photo credit Reuters
Kanal A TV, which is favored by Erdogan and the AKP, aired a talk show on the Orlando attack during which the canceled June 19 Pride Parade was discussed. Much of the program's 90 minutes included anti-gay hate speech; the show's guests called homosexuality "a disease," "a perversion," and "an immoral deviation" that "has no place in a Muslim country like Turkey. The program guests, and hosts, also stated that homosexuals had no rights and that members of the LGBT community "should seek a medical cure."
Also during the program, the Islamist guests complained about the lack of full rights for Muslims in Turkey, such as the ban on polygamy and the ban on inheritance according to Islamic rules. One guest added that the Orlando attack and all other terror attacks on the U.S. by Muslims, including 9/11, were justified as retribution for U.S. aggression.
 On February 19, 2012, Erdogan openly announced his vision for the creation of a devout Muslim youth, a youth that "claims his religion, language, brain, science, honor, home, hatred and revenge." He was inspired by a poem by Necip Fazil Kisakurek, an idol of his and all Turkish Islamists, who had shaped Turkey's political Islam. The idea of a "hating youth," which disturbed many in Turkey, referred to a youth that hated the West and non-Muslims. Cumhuriyet (Turkey), February 23, 2012. See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1165, Dictatorship In Erdogan's Turkey - Part II: The Domestic Scene On The Eve Of Crucial General Elections, June 5, 2015.
 Yeni Akit, June 15, 2016. The verses mentioned are as follows: Araf 7:80-81: 80. "And (remember) Lout (Lot), when he said to his people: 'Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the 'Alamin (mankind and jinns)?'" 81. "Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins)." Araf 179: "And surely, We have created many of the jinns and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones." Furqan 25:43-44: 43. "Have you (O Muhammad) seen him who has taken as his ilah (god) his own desire? Would you then be a Wakil (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him?" 44. "Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. (i.e. even worst than cattle)." Tin 5: "Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low." Casiye 45:23: "Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?" Hud 11:69-83: 69. "And verily, there came Our Messengers to Ibrahim (Abraham) with glad tidings. They said: Salam (greetings or peace!) He answered, Salam (greetings or peace!) and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf." 70. But when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: 'Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lout (Lot).'" 71. "And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed (either, because the Messengers did not eat their food or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Lout (Lot). But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaque (Isaac), and after him, of Ya'qub (Jacob)." 72. "She said (in astonishment): 'Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband, an old man? Verily! This is a strange thing!' 73. "They said: 'Do you wonder at the Decree of Allah? The Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be on you, O the family [of Ibrahim (Abraham)]. Surely, He (Allah) is All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.'" 74. "Then when the fear had gone away from (the mind of) Ibrahim (Abraham), and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us (Our Messengers) for the people of Lout (Lot)." 75. "Verily, Ibrahim (Abraham) was, without doubt, forbearing, used to invoke Allah with humility, and was repentant (to Allah all the time, again and again)." 76. "O Ibrahim (Abraham)! Forsake this. Indeed, the Commandment of your Lord has gone forth. Verily, there will come a torment for them which cannot be turned back." 77. "And when Our Messengers came to Lout (Lot), he was grieved on their account and felt himself straitened for them (lest the town people should approach them to commit sodomy with them). He said: 'This is a distressful day.'" 78. "And his people came rushing towards him, and since aforetime they used to commit crimes (sodomy, etc.), he said: "O my people! Here are my daughters (i.e. the daughters of my nation), they are purer for you (if you marry them lawfully). So fear Allah and degrade me not as regards my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man?" 79. "They said: "Surely you know that we have neither any desire nor in need of your daughters, and indeed you know well what we want!" 80. "He said: 'Would that I had strength (men) to overpower you, or that I could betake myself to some powerful support (to resist you).' 81. "They (Messengers) said: 'O Lout (Lot)! Verily, we are the Messengers from your Lord! They shall not reach you! So travel with your family in a part of the night, and let not any of you look back, but your wife (will remain behind), verily, the punishment which will afflict them, will afflict her. Indeed, morning is their appointed time. Is not the morning near?' 82. "So when Our Commandment came, We turned (the towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down, and rained on them stones of baked clay, piled up." 83. "Marked from your Lord, and they are not ever far from the Zalimun (polytheists, evil-doers, etc.)."
 Yeni Akit, June 16, 2016.
 Takvim, AHaber, June 14, 2016.
 Takvim, AHaber, June 15, 2016.
 Yeni Safak, June 14, 2016.
 Yeni Akit, Diken, Cumhuriyet, June 14, 2016.
 Diken, June 15, 2016.
 Yeni Akit, June 16, 2016.
 Cumhuriyet, June 15, 2016.
 Diken, Hurriyet, June 26, 2016.
 Kanal A (Sinir Ihlali), June 18, 2016.