2012 Demands of LGBT Citizens from the New Constitution in Turkey

Source: Sosyal Politikalar, Cinsiyet Kimliği ve Cinsel Yönelim Çalışmaları Derneği. (Social Policies, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association) “LGBT Yurttaşların Yeni Anayasaya Yönelik Talepleri,” (“Demands of LGBT Citizens from the New Constitution in Turkey,”) April 2012, http://www.spod.org.tr/turkce/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/SPoD-Anayasa-Raporu.pdf

The SPoD Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association has been organizing a wide range of activities in the domain of LGBT rights in Turkey since its founding in September 2011. Among these, advocacy activities for the recognition of LGBT citizens of Turkey as full and equal citizens in the New Constitution have significant importance. Since 2002, LGBT organizations of Turkey have been conducting a nationwide campaign that demands the integration of sexual orientation and gender identity phrases into the Article on Equality in the Turkish Constitution. More recently, the emergence of a general consensus on the need for a new constitution has had an encouraging effect on the participation of LGBT organizations in the process.

This report has been prepared in accordance with two panels and five forums on the new constitution organized by SPoD, along with the results of a survey conducted amongst SPoD members and independent LGBT individuals. Additionally, the demands of LGBT individuals regarding the new constitution collected through an announcement on http://www.kaosgl.org and on social media have been included in this report.

SPoD has been organizing a wide range of activities (panels and forums) with the objective of drawing the interest of LGBT individuals to the new constitution making process and encouraging them to share their demands and suggestions with members of Parliament and the public. With KONDA Research’s support, SPoD has also conducted a survey amongst SPoD members and LGBT people. SPoD shared a 14- point text with the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Constitutional Reconciliation Commission and the public on 16 December 2011 and shared LGBT demands with the sub-committee 3 on 16 January 2012 in person. Activities supported by the Rainbow Coalition Against Discrimination, which is a coalition of LGBT organizations and TACSO (Technical Assistance for Civil Society Organisations), continued with two panels and two forums in Istanbul, one forum each in Ankara, İzmir, and Diyarbakır. Through these forums, the demands of organized and independent LGBT citizens were collected. Representatives of various initiatives working on advocacy for the new constitution (New Constitution Platform, Women’s Platform for the Constitution, Ecological Platform for the Constitution), representatives of political parties (Republican People’s Party, Peace and Democracy Party, Green Party), and members of the press met with LGBTs in the panels.

As a result of the opinions collected verbally and in writing, we can see an overwhelming majority of LGBT respondents agree with the idea of abandoning the 1982 Constitution and preparing an entirely new constitution. In the survey supported by KONDA Research, the question “What is your opinion on constitutional amendment or a new constitution?” received the answer “We need a new/contemporary constitution in which each article is redrafted,” from 87.1% of SPoD members and 76.5% of independent LGBT individuals. The percentages of those who answered, “We do not need a new constitution” are 1.6% and 2.9% respectively.

One can find SPoD’s opinions and suggestions on the new constitution, the new constitution-making process dated 16 December 2011 and the report prepared by other LGBT organizations (Kaos GL and Pink Life) in the appendix of this report.

Due to their invaluable support throughout SPoD’s campaigning process, SPoD would like to thank the Rainbow Coalition Against Discrimination, the Hebun Diyarbakır LGBT Initiative, the Kaos GL Association, the Lambdaistanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association, the Morel Eskişehir LGBTT Initiative, the Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association, the Middle Eastern Technical University LGBT Solidarity, the Black Pink Triangle İzmir LGBTT Association, TACSO Turkey, KONDA Research, Bağlam Publications, the SODİD Social Solidarity and Communication Association, the Diyarbakır Branch of the STGM Civil Society Development Center, and the İzmir Blackcat Cultural Center. We would also like to thank Banu Güven, Ezgi Başaran, Mehveş Evin and Pınar Öğünç for their moderation support in panels and forums.



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