Sebahat Tuncel

Reply from Ministry of National Defense to Parliamentary Question by Sebahat Tuncel

Source: İsmet Yılmaz, “Yazılı Soru Önergesinin Cevabı,” “Reply to the Written Parliamentary Question,” 5 July 2012,

Republic of Turkey

Ministry of National Defense, Ankara

Date: 05.07.2012

To the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Speaker’s Office:

About: Document entitled “Parliamentary Question” from the Grand National Assembly with date 21 May 2012 and number A.01.0.KKB.

Please find attached in Supplement-A the reply to Istanbul Deputy Sebahat Tuncel’s Parliamentary Question (number 7/7088) addressing the Minister of National Defense.

Kindly submitted for your information,

İsmet Yılmaz

Minister of National Defense


1.     There are no current projects towards abolishing mandatory military service or towards recognizing conscientious objection as a legal right.

2.     There are no statistics kept in relation to those who have declared different sexual orientations during medical examinations and requested “Unfit for Military Service” reports in the past years.


BDP Sebahat Tuncel’s Parliamentary Question on the Military

Source: Sebahat Tuncel, “Soru Önergesi,” “Parliamentary Question,” 3 May 2012,

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Peace and Democracy Party
No: 992
Date: 03.05.2012

To the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Speaker’s Office:

I request that the Minister of National Defense Mr. İsmet Yılmaz provide written replies to the questions I hereby submit, in accordance with the 98th bylaw of the Constitution and the 99th bylaw of the Standing Orders.

Sebahat Tuncel,

Istanbul Deputy

Mandatory military service has been abolished in nearly every European country, yet it continues in Turkey today. Many youths are against the mandatory military system for conscientious, political or belief-related reasons, by objecting to militarism or due to their sexual orientation. The right to object to mandatory military service is included in international agreements and it is recognized as a “right” in law. However, such objection is still viewed as a crime in Turkey. Those who suffer most in relation to this are young men who wish not to serve in the military due to their sexual orientation. Unlike the respect they receive in democratic countries, in Turkey, those with different sexual orientations are considered to have “character disorders.” They are subjected to pressure and othering by the state and multiple sectors of society.


HDP’s Tuncel’s Proposal on the Law of Misdemeanors



I hereby submit my legal proposal for amendments to the Law of Misdemeanors File No: 5376 dated 30.03.2005 with reasonings.

I request that the necessary actions be taken.

Sebahat Tuncel

Istanbul Parliamentarian


The acceptance of an act as a crime or misdemeanor is determined by penal policies. That the act contains an unjust character is the necessary requirement for it to be a crime or a misdemeanor. Classifying an act as crime or misdemeanor through the quantitative measurement of the unjust character is a requirement of modern democracies.

The classification of “Misdemeanors” and “Crimes” in the Turkish Penal Code No: 765 has lost its validity in terms of democratic regimes and the tendency to remove misdemeanors from crimes has risen. The need for the regulation of administrative sanctions arose after the Turkish Penal Code No: 5237 repealed Code No: 765 and led to the need for Law No: 5376.


“Hopefully, one day, we will have a gay prime minister”

Source: Aydil Durgun, “Umarım bir gün eşcinsel bir başbakanımız olacak,” (“Hopefully, one day, we will have a gay prime minister,”) Milliyet, 20 October 2013,

Asya Özgür from the newly founded LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform (LGBT Siyasi Temsil ve Katılım Platformu): “We want to see an LGBT who is out in the parliament. Hopefully, one day, we will have a gay prime minister.”

As the local elections approach, mayoral and council candidates are finalizing their preparations and of course Istanbul is in the news. Several LGBT organizations and associations in Istanbul explained, “We decided that this can not happen without us!” and founded the LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform. We heard the details about the platform from its members Sezen Yalçın, Boysan Yakar, Asya Özgür and Deniz Şapka.

How did this platform emerge?

Sezen Yalçın: Right after Gezi, we came together and talked about what we wanted to do; it emerged from that. The LGBT movement has always been involved in the political sphere. There was a great deal of interest in our first meeting. This excited all of us and we kept organizing the meetings. We thought about what we could do to make it possible for one of us to run as a candidate and what we would demand from the locals. After we saw the local reaction at Gezi, we thought we can make our voices heard.


BDP Tuncel’s Questions on Transphobia and the Minister of Interior Şahin’s Response


GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY                                            11472


NO: 1586

DATE: 10.10.2012


I request that my questions below be answered in writing according to the Constitution’s 98th and the Statute’s 99th article by the Minister of Interior İdris Naim ŞAHİN.

Sebahat TUNCEL

Istanbul Parliamentarian

Trans individuals continue to be the biggest victims of hate speech and hate crimes in Turkey. The last instance of this happened in Istanbul. On the evening hours of 7 October 2012 in Istanbul’s Avcılar district, a group of people gathered with an attempt of lynching in a compound where trans individuals live. The 50-60 people crowd which gathered in front of the house to lynch trans individuals chanted the slogan “we will die for honor, we will give our lives” and incited the public to hate. It has been stated that the police did not intervene in the crowds who attempted to enter the homes of trans individuals. It is said that a retired prosecutor or soldier has used hate speech against the trans individuals who have lived in the compound for years. They stated that these protests would last another week and that they would gather again the next Saturday. With the announcement that these events would go on every week, LGBT people stated their worry that these could escalate into hate murders.