Turkish Ministry of Justice: “We do not do any work on LGBT citizens’ human rights”

The Turkish Ministry of Justice responded to an application to acquire information on LGBT rights: “There is no work on the protection and recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans citizens’ human rights conducted by our Ministry.”

Source: Murat Köylü, “Turkish: ‘Adalet Bakanlığı: LGBT yurttaşların haklarına dair hiçbir faaliyetimiz yok”, (“Turkish Ministry of Justice: We do not do any work on LGBT citizens’ human rights”), Kaosgl.org, December 30, 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18362

An application to acquire information on LGBT rights made in November by the main opposition party’s, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), MP Mahmut Tanal, a member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, was responded to by the Ministry of Justice.

“There is no work on LGBT citizens’ human rights”

In response to application to acquire information, the Presidency of Education Directorate affiliated to the Ministry of Justice stated “there is no work on the protection and recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans citizens’ human rights conducted by our Ministry. For Ministry personnel at any level, including those working in local bodies, we have not implemented any work so far in order to raise awareness on the issue.”

With reference to the response, concerns regarding the fact that the Ministry has no approach to and given no priority to LGBT citizens, apart from the Ministry’s both internally and externally very much criticized “LGBT prison”policy, were confirmed. This comes despite Turkey’s LGBT citizens, civil society organizations, opposition parties [the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP)] and the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union emphasising how vital it is.

Tanal applied via the Act of Right of Information Acquirement

CHP MP Tanal submitting a parliamentary question “regarding LGBT rights” to the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, brought the same issue to the agenda of the Ministry by applying under the Act of Right of Information Acquirement having considered that most of the opposition parties’ parliamentary questions are left unanswered. According to the Act, the applicant should access the requested information or document in 15 working days. Otherwise it is sent to the supreme board and administrative jurisdiction.

MP Tanal asked the following questions:

  • Is there any work on the recognition and protection of LGBT citizens’ human rights in your Ministry in line with Turkey’s national and international obligations? What kind of work and to what degree are they conducted?
  • Is there any work [on LGBT citizens] for Ministry personnel at any level, including those working in local bodies? What kind of work and in to what degree are they conducted?

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