Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended a cleric whose remarks about homosexuality in his first Ramadan sermon were condemned by human rights groups. The cleric, Ali Erbas, said homosexuality “brings disease and causes this generation to decay.”
“Erbas also maintained that hundreds of thousands of people every year are exposed to HIV due to homosexuality and adultery and called on worshipers to come together to fight ‘this kind of evil.'” NBC News reported.
Erdogan said criticism of Erbas “amounted to an attack on the state” and a “deliberate attack against Islam,” according to media reports.