Source: “Rıza Türmen: Türkiye Devletinin Anayasacılığında bir Kilometre Taşı,” (“Rıza Türmen: ‘A Milestone in the Turkish State’s Constitutionalism’,”) Kaos GL, 17 August 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=14662
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Parliamentarian Rıza Türmen- member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s Constitutional Reconciliation Commission- assessed the “Draft Process of the New Constitution and LGBT People” for Kaos GL.
In a special assessment to Kaos GL, CHP İzmir Parliamentarian and former European Court of Human Rights judge Rıza Türmen argues that the recognition of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at a constitutional level “even if it is in the preamble” is a significant gain for the LGBT.
“We have adamantly argued for sexual orientation and gender identity for 2 years”
Türmen gave the following information regarding the “Draft Process of the New Constitution and LGBT People” in the Draft’s Article on Equality third clause on discrimination:
“As CHP we put forth the expressions ‘language, race, color, gender, political opinion, philosophical thoughts, religion, sect, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other factors’ and have adamantly argued for their inclusion for 2 years.
We have rejected statements such as “no one can be discriminated against for any factor” and preferred contemporary constitutionalism methods that individually list the factors.”
“Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Justice and Democracy Party (AKP) have vehemently opposed the ban on discrimination”
Türmen states that MHP and the ruling AKP have vehemently opposed the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in the ban on discrimination since the beginning of the discussions on the equality article.
“Until the recent third round of talks and including all talks with advisers, they insisted on not including these expressions in any part of the constitution, including the preamble.”
“The inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Constitution would provide additional guarantees for LGBTs”
Türmen, who emphasizes that he has adamantly argued for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Constitution, continued his assessment to Kaos GL:
“The non-inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in the Constitution does not mean that the state apparatus can use discrimination against LGBT people in terms of constitutional interpretation and the arrangement and application of legal norms. In fact, the expression ‘any factor’ means that all discrimination will be unconstitutional. Nevertheless, the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Constitution would provide additional guarantees for LGBTs and this is why our party has argued adamantly for this since the beginning.”
“Has no legal binding but imposes on the state duty to oversee”
Former European Court of Human Rights judge Rıza Türmen evaluated the argument that the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in the lacks legal binding like this:
“While the argument that the inclusion of these expressions in the preamble lacks legal binding is correct, their inclusion in the preamble will mean that the entire state apparatus, especially the judiciary, will have the duty to oversee that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity does not happen.”
“Significant gain for the LGBT”
Noting that “these expressions were never recognized in the history of Turkish constitutionalism”, member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s Constitutional Reconciliation Commission Rıza Türmen emphasized the importance of this development.
“That identities be recognized at a constitutional level, even if it is in the preamble, by constitution drafters, is a significant gain for the LGBT. This step is a milestone for LGBT people in the Republic of Turkey’s constitutionalism.”