AKP MP: “Homosexuality is one of the biggest threats”

AKP MP Ayşe Doğan made homophobic remarks at the TBMM Commission on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men: “Everybody knows that this can be one of the biggest threats to our society.”

Source: “AKP’li vekil: ‘Eşcinsellik en büyük tehditlerden biri,'” (“AKP MP: ‘Homosexuality is one of the biggest threats,'”) kaosGL.org, 17 February, 2016, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21120

TBMM [The Grand National Assembly of Turkey – Trans.] Commission on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men discussed, in yesterday’s meeting, the proposal that a Human Rights and Equality Foundation of Turkey should be formed as a subsidiary organ in order to focus on protecting and improving human rights based on individual’s dignity, to ensure their right to be treated equally, and to prevent discrimination in benefiting from lawful rights and freedom.

CHP and HDP were critical of the exclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity from the proposal

Based on the Turkish daily Hürriyet’s news, Candan Yüceer, Republican People’s Party (CHP) [opposition party – Trans.] Tekirdağ MP, stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals are faced with discrimination and killed. Yüceer further added that overlooking this problem, and interpreting the recommendations listed in the international agreements would mean ignoring the individuals who are being discriminated against.

Yüceer suggested that excluding sexual orientation and gender identity from the proposal would mean that “all will benefit from the lawful rights and freedom, except for those who are less equal.”

Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) [opposition party – Trans.] İstanbul MP, emphasized that sexual orientation and gender identity must be included in the proposal, and that turning a blind eye to these individuals would not simply make them disappear.

Homophobia from AKP MP

Ayşe Doğan, Justice and Development Party (AKP) [the ruling party – Trans.]  Tekirdağ MP, made the following homophobic remarks in response to Yüceer and Kerestecioğlu:

“There is no need to change our commission’s agenda by including a different subculture, with artificial sexual tendencies that are not in line with human nature and our society’s customs and traditions. Here, we discuss values in professional life as ladies and men. There is no point in bringing up [a] different group’s private life and their private gender identities in bedroom. Everybody knows that this can be one of the biggest threats to our society.”

Kerestecioğlu stated, upon hearing Doğan’s remarks, that she is “flabbergasted, and could not believe her ears,” and that she finds them utterly odd.

LGBT People are not protected against hate speech in Grand National Assembly of Turkey

The campaign against hate speech and discriminatory statements in the Turkish Parliament does not cover “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”. It has also been revealed that gay and trans people are excluded from the scope of protection.

Source: Murat Köylü, “TBMM’de LGBT’ler nefret söylemine karşı korunmuyor”, (“LGBT People are not protected against hate speech in Grand National Assembly of Turkey”), Kaos GL, 03 February 2015, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18630

The campaign against hate speech and discriminatory statements in the Turkish Parliament does not cover the statements “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”. It has also been revealed that gay and trans people are excluded from the scope of protection.

The parliamentary question from Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Turkish Parliament, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), received a response.

The above mentioned parliamentary question on the “prevention of usage of hate speech and discriminative statements in Grand National Assembly of Turkey” submitted to Turkish Parliamentary Speaker’s Office was responded to by Sadık Yakut, Turkish Parliamentary Deputy Speaker.

MP Yakut from Justice and Development Party (AKP) referred to parliamentary immunity in his response and he reminded [the minister] that “according to the Bylaws of Grand National Assembly of Turkey, a person who utters rude and hurtful statements in the General Assembly will be immediately warned by the Chairman, requested to leave the floor in the case of that person’s insistence on speaking and may be excluded from the session if the Chairman deems it necessary”.

Sadık Yakut, Deputy Chairman of Grand National Assembly of Turkey, attracted attention to the Political Ethics Conciliation Commission’s bill of law on preventing hate speech and discriminative statements in the Assembly, which was finalized in December 2012 and submitted to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office.

In this bill of law from the Commission, which was established with the purpose of developing a clear, honest and accountable understanding of politics and defining ethical principles by making a detailed examination on political ethics, the principle that “any discrimination due to such reasons as language, race, color, gender, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion, age, physical, mental and psychological disabilities shall not be in question” was indicated. The fact is statements such as “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” were not indicated and trans and homosexual people’s exclusion from the scope of the protection attracted attention.

In his response, Mr. Yakut also shared the [names of] MPs who received disciplinary punishment in the 24th Term of the 3rd Legislative Year of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.


Serial No

MP who receives disciplinary punishment

Disciplinary Punishment

Other Details re Disciplinary Punishment

Name Surname

Election District



Session No



Kamer Genç


Prohibition from speaking

Digression from the subject being discussed




Kamer Genç


Punishment of  Permanent Exclusion from two sessions

Revilement to Deputy Chairman who chairs the session




Oktay Saral



Carrying out an attack




Özdal Üçer



Rude and hurtful utterances



TBMM Başkanlığı “milletvekillerinin, danışmanların, yasama uzmanlarının ve yardımcı personelin nefret söylemine karşı farkındalık düzeylerinin artırılmasına” ilişkin olarak ise TBMM’nin Etik Komisyonu’na işaret etti.

The Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey pointed to the Assembly’s Ethics Commission regarding “increasing the level of awareness of parliament members, consultants, legislative experts and supportive personnel against hate speech”.

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, MP from Republican People’s Party (CHP) asked the following in his parliamentary question:

1- Is any kind of mechanism projected which follows, assesses and plans the required steps through analysis on hate speech (or speech which have a high potential of being understood as hate speech) by MPs?

2- Which sanctions are applied or could be applied against hate speech and discriminative statements by MPs?

3- In the previous legislative year, was any provision of a by-law or any other legislation applied due to hate speech, discriminative statement or revilement? If yes, in which cases was it applied?

4- Does the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office plan on any project to increase the awareness and responsibility levels of parliament members, consultants and party group management of hate speech and discriminative language?

Trans woman prevented from entering the Turkish parliament: “If you have a blue ID, you are a man”

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “Trans kadına Meclis engeli: Mavi kimliğin varsa erkeksin!“ (“Trans woman prevented from entering the Turkish parliament: ‘If you have a blue ID, you are a man’”), KaosGL, 19 September 2014, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17552

A trans woman was discriminated against this morning [September 19, 2014] prior to a press conference to be held by the CHP (Republican People’s Party) MP Aykan Erdemir at the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The woman who wished to attend the meeting concerning LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) rights was asked to go through security checkpoint designated for men on the grounds that she carried a blue identity card.


Buse Kılıçkaya from the Pink Life Association spoke with KaosGL.org about the incident that occurred at the security check before the press meeting:

“I have been going to the Grand National Assembly to attend these civil rights meetings since 2000. This morning we went through the pre-search without a problem; at the second search, there was a security detector marked as “woman” and I naturally chose that one. There was a commotion as they were searching my bag. I sensed that the security officer felt the need to confer with their friends about a matter. Since I had entered through here before, I assumed that the issue had something to do with the materials we brought, but that was not the case.”


The winners of the genetically modified tomato awards did not claim their awards this year either

Source: Elvan Yarma. “Hormonlu domates ödülleri’nin sahipleri bu yıl da ödülü almaya gelmedi,” (“The winners of the genetically modified tomato awards did not claim their awards this year either”), Hürriyet Kelebek, 28 June 2014, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/kelebek/hayat/26690059.asp

The tenth annual award ceremony of The Genetically ModifiedTomato Awards, given to homophobes, took place last night. The Awards Ceremony was initiated by LGBTI solidarity foundation Lambdaistanbul and is organized with the support of other LGBTI associations. For the first time this year, the Genetically Modified Tomato Awards took place in a municipal building. The Municipality of Şişli made available the Şişli Urban Cultural Center for the ceremony.

For those who are curious, the name “Genetically Modified Tomato” dates back to 2005 when [former football referee and current football commentator] Erman Toroğlu declared, “don’t eat genetically modified tomatoes, they will make you gay.” This statement had earned him the first ever Genetically Modified Tomato Award. The Awards Ceremony is one where the handing of awards is accompanied not with applause but with booing. The ceremony started with Mademoiselle Coco (nickname for Seyhan Arman) mentioning this Sunday’s Pride Parade with her idiosyncratic style: “Oh honey but I heard they were not going to let us walk this year!”

Organizations from various provinces participated in the ceremony including Purple Fish from Trabzon, Zeugmadi from Gaziantep, Istanbul Bears from Istanbul and many more. The organization network has become so large that as Mademoiselle Coco read the list of associations she kept saying, “Oh you’re one of us too?” When the awards were being handed out, the presenters expressed their dismay at not being able to award all the candidates and wishfully said, “Perhaps one day they may accept that they are wrong and come to receive this award.”

Victims of hate murders and those subjected to hate crimes were commemorated during the ceremony. As the organizers put forth, “If 99% of a social sector are sex workers, there’s a problem.”

When I attended the “hormone party” that took place at the Neo Club after the Awards, this time it was I, as a heterosexual person, who felt like the “other.” Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals danced together at the club. But lining up against the sidewalk at the exit, I noticed that they all stood a foot apart from me. Who knows? Perhaps that gap will be filled when Turkey is changed so that hate murders and words of “homosexuality is a disease” are not everyday occurrences and when homosexual individuals may be considered as presidential candidates.


Politics: PM Erdoğan, for initiating a defamation case about the tweet, “It is not as if we will learn from you how to be a fag.”

Media: Yeni Akit Daily, for the following court defense, “Homosexuality and its derivatives are psychological disorders.”

Entertainment: Okan Bayülgen, for saying that there is an increase in homosexuality because young boys end up having to have intercourse with each other due to a scarcity of brothels.

Education: Yeditepe University, for banning one trans woman from entering campus and for turning down the application of a student LGBTI research group, with the explanation that the club would “degrade the university’s reputation.”

Sports: Former Fenerbahçe footballer Mateja Kezman, for saying that homosexuality is a disease and that it should not be encouraged, and for other homophobic declarations when footballers in Amsterdam decided to offer support for Pride.

Social spaces: Kızılay Shopping Center, for banning entry to three trans women with the words of “We don’t allow your kind in here.”

Censorship: The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), for banning access to LGBTI organizations’ websites.

International: Russia, for legally banning homosexual propaganda.

Institution: The Ministry of Internal Affairs, for allegedly putting pressure on the police officer, who had lost his job due to sexual discrimination, into providing the names of other gay members of the police force.

We had the opportunity to speak with Gizem from Lambdaistanbul before the ceremony.

What is the purpose of these awards?

The main purpose is to identify homophobic and transphobic persons and institutions.

What would you say bothers LGBTI individuals most in Turkish society and politics?

We are not accepted, not in terms of our rights and not in terms of visibility. The discourse of “homosexuality is a disease” is still widespread among many politicians. On the other hand, we are glad to see changes in the approaches of BDP [Peace and Democracy Party], HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] and CHP [Republican Peoples’ Party] towards homosexuality in the last few years. As per AK Party [Justice and Development Party], we don’t anticipate any such change from them any time soon.

The presidential elections are coming up. Will there be candidates who represent you?

My personal opinion is that none of them represent me. We recently heard Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu [joint candidate for the Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) -trans.] declare, “Homophobia is not a universal matter.” The candidates are quite explicit about where they stand.

Do you think that Turkey may have a homosexual president in the future?

Of course. Why would we keep fighting if we did not believe this! Unfortunately though, I don’t think this will happen in the near future.

Do you think that there have been changes in how public or private corporate firms regard LGBTI individuals?

There have always been LGBTI individuals working in corporate firms. What we want is for them to be visible in those workplaces. During a recent investigation in relation to a gay police officer losing his job, the Ministry of Internal Affairs released a written statement saying, “Homosexuality is disparaging for civil service. The society needs to see honorable and reputable individuals in office in order to trust in such institutions.”