Saturday, January 05, 2013

EU Report Slams Turkey's Anti-Gay Record

(In December, members of KAOS protested the murder of an unidentified transgender woman in Istanbul.)

A leader with the Turkish LGBT group KAOS, Ali Erol, issued an alert about a newly released assessment by the European Union regarding Turkey's request to join the EU because the report highlights the country's deplorable queer human rights record.

Ali writes that the Minister of EU Affairs, speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan and their ruling AK Party, dismissed the report as "subjective, biased, unfounded, and contained bigoted attitudes. The EU has damaged its own credibility with the Turkey report".

KAOS pointed out that "although the government of Turkey claims they have prepared their own report that allegedly takes into account the EU’s previous criticisms and recommendations; it is sadly understood our government doesn't take into account the EU Commission’s yearly repetitions for elimination of discrimination against LGBTs in Turkey."

By the way, let's all congratulate Ali, pictured, for receiving the David Kato Vision and Voice Award back in November for his decades of human rights activism and writing. Thanks, Ali, for your service to the global gay community and informing us of the EU slamming Turkey's gay rights record.

Excerpted from the EU 2012 Turkish progress report:

The relevant parliamentary committee amended the draft to remove references to discrimination on grounds of sexual identity or sexual orientation. The current legal framework is not in line with the EU acquis. There is discrimination against individuals along ethnic, religious, sexual identity and other lines . . .

However lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons continued to suffer discrimination, intimidation and were the victims of violent crime. LGBT employees and civil servants have been fired on the grounds of sexual orientation. Other reported spheres of discrimination against LGBT individuals include access to housing and to health services (especially in the case of transgender persons).

Violations of the right to life, torture, ill-treatment and cases of sexual assault that occurred against LGBTs in Turkey during 2011 have been reported . . .

Articles of the Turkish Criminal Code on ‘public exhibitionism’ and ‘offences against public morality’ and also articles of the Law on Misdemeanours were widely used to discriminate against and to impose fines on LGBT people. The repeated application of the principle of ‘unjust provocation’ in favour of perpetrators of crimes against transsexuals and transvestites is a major concern.

The internal rules of the Turkish armed forces continue to define homosexuality as a ‘psychosexual’ illness and to declare homosexuals unfit for military service. Substantial government efforts are still needed to effectively protect vulnerable groups, including women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from societal abuse, discrimination and violence.

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