Discrimination Continues, The Government Violates EU Acquis!

Source: Ali Erol, “Ayrımcılık Devam Ediyor, Hükümet AB Müktesabatına Uymuyor!” (“Discrimination Continues, The Government Violates EU Acquis!”) Kaos GL, 10 October 2012, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=12476

The European Commission released the Annual Progress Report on Turkey today, stating that LGBT people continue to be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation.

In the chapter covering Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people; the Progress Report underlines the exclusion of the “sexual identity” category from the Draft Bill of the Anti-discrimination and Equality Council. The Report states that the planned bill is not compatible with EU acquis and emphasizes that the discrimination continues.

The main points of the European Commission 2012 Progress Report on Turkey that calls for the Turkish government to protect LGBT people from discrimination and violence are as follows:

The Anti-discrimination and Equality Council must abide by EU acquis

“An anti-discrimination law which would include the provision of founding an anti-discrimination and equality council is still missing. A bill was presented to the Parliament but the Parliament Committee excluded the regulation, which provides the prevention of discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The existing legal framework is not on the same level as the EU acquis and discrimination continues against individuals belonging to sexual, ethnic and religious minorities.”

Homosexuality is not a crime but LGBT people are subjected to discrimination and violence

“Homosexuality is not a crime that requires punishment in Turkey. However lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people still face discrimination, intimidation and are victims of violence.”

Discrimination regarding sexual orientation in the workplace continues

“LGBT workers and public servants are getting fired because of their sexual orientation. Discrimination in various fields including housing and health care continues against LGBT people (especially against trans people). A large number of cases and judicial prosecutions are ongoing.”

For LGBT people the right to life is not protected; perpetrators get released without punishment

“During 2011 multiple cases of torture, bad treatment, sexual assault  and the violation of the right to life against LGBT people were reported in Turkey. Missing evidences in the course of the prosecutions and litigations [of the crimes against those of minority gender and sexual identity] led to the perpetrators gaining impunity.”

LGBT people are still being punished with “General Morality”

“The articles of “exhibitionism” and “actions against general morality” as well as the Misdemeanors Law in the Turkish Penal Code have been commonly used in order to discriminate against LGBT people and to fine them.”

Transphobic criminals are protected using the excuse of “unjust provocation”

“The recurrent use of the “Unjust Provocation” principle in favor of persons who committed crimes against transsexual and transvestite people is still a significant problem. LGBT human rights defenders are sued for accusing police officers of making arbitrary arrests and using violence.”

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) still regards homosexuality as a “disease”

“Well-known people employed negative stereotypes against LGBT people. The institutional regulations of TSK define homosexuality as a “psychosexual” sickness and proclaim that homosexuals are not suitable to serve in the military.”

There is no Anti-discrimination Law; Government’s support is needed!

The enlargement strategy, released together with the progress report, underlines the need for more effort in terms of anti-discrimination and it draws attention to the lack of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law.

Because of the lack of an anti-discrimination law, the European Commission called for the Government to effectively protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people along with other vulnerable groups against social abuse, discrimination and violence.

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