LGBTI Bans featured on EU Progress Report

The bans against LGBTI activities were criticized in the EU Progress Report on Turkey and it was emphasized that the fundamental rights of the LGBTI individuals are not protected.

(Source: “LGBTI Bans featured on EU Progress Report” (“LGBTİ yasakları AB İlerleme Raporu’nda”), Yıldız Tar, kaosgl.org, April 18, 2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=25617.)

European Union (EU) Commission has published Turkey’s Progress Report for the year 2018. The report includes descriptions of hate speech against LGBTI individuals, exclusion of sexual orientation from the law regarding hate crimes, lack of legal protection against discrimination and the bans against LGBTI+ activities.

The Progress Report stated “There are serious concerns on the protection of the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.” Regarding the ban in Ankara against LGBTI+ activities, the rejection of Kaos GL and Pink Life’s request to halt the execution of the ban and the ban against Pride Walks, the report states the following:

“No changes have been introduced to the military disciplinary system and medical regulations which define homosexuality as a ‘psychosexual disorder/illness’. For the third year in a row, LGBTI marches were banned for security reasons. Activists have been sued for ‘participating in an unauthorised demonstration’. LGBTI-themed events were forbidden in Ankara and other cities causing an international outcry. The detention and release under judicial control of an activist following his social media posts regarding Ankara governor’s ban on LGBTI events for an indefinite period is testimony of the pressure exercised against activists in this field. In February 2018, an Administrative Court rejected the request of two NGOs’ to lift the execution of this ban. Intimidation and violence against the LGBTI community continues to be a major problem and hate speech against LGBTI people is not effectively prosecuted, as it is mostly considered within the boundaries of freedom of speech. There is no specific legislation to address these crimes. There is limited protection given to LGBTI organisations who have been receiving threats. Discrimination towards the LGBTI community is still widespread.”

The report specifies that the legal regulations regarding hate crimes do not comply with international standards and do not include sexual orientation based hate crimes:

“Turkey should urgently adopt a law on combating discrimination in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, including with regards to sexual orientation and identity.”

The report also criticizes the National Human Rights and Equality institution for not including sexual orientation in the criminalization of discrimination.

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