Turkish MPs to participate in EU LGBTI seminar

Four members of Parliament from the AKP, CHP and MHP will participate in the seminar on the fundamental rights and protections for LGBTI communities against discrimination organized by the European Parliament in Tirana.

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “AKP, CHP ve MHP’den vekiller LGBTİ seminerine katılacak” (Members of Parliament from AKP, CHP and MHP to participate in an LGBTI seminar) Kaos GL, 17 November 2014, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17971

Mehmet Metiner and Ziver Özdemir from the ruling party AKP, Binnaz Toprak from the CHP and Ruhsar Demirel from the MHP will participate in the seminar titled, “Fundamental Rights, Non-Discrimination and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Including the LGBTI people,” which will be held in the Albanian capital Tirana between November 20th-21st.

European Parliament organizes seminar against discrimination

The event will bring together members of parliaments from EU pre-accession / candidate countries with representatives from the European Parliament. Topics of discussion will include legislation against discrimination, protection of minority rights and the role of media in changing prejudicial attitudes towards sexual orientation and gender identity.

Albanian Parliamentary Spokesperson Ilir Meta and Minister of Social Affairs Erion Velliaj will speak at the event. Also present at the event will be important names such as Gianludovico de Martino di Montegiordano, from the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU and president of the Interministerial  Human Rights Committee, as well as Urike Lunacek, Vice President, EU-Western Balkans, the author of the report outlining the EU’s LGBT roadmap.

Do you know the members of Parliament who will represent Turkey in Tirana?

Mehmet Metiner, AKP MP from Adıyaman: Member of the Human Rights Investigation Committee. He participated in visits to the three prisons in Antalya and Alanya organized by the subcommittee on prisons. Complaints by gay and trans inmates were also included in the report on the issues in the L- Type Antalya prison.

Ziver Özdemir,  AKP MP from Batman: Member of the Human Rights Investigation Committee. He has no record of work on LGBTI issues.

Binnaz Toprak, CHP MP from İstanbul:  Deputy Chair,  Committee on Equal Opportunities for Men and Women. She submitted a motion to ex Prime Minister Erdogan regarding the problems of LGBT people. Backed by 59 signatures from the CHP she motioned the Parliament for a Parliamentary Investigation into the matter. In May 2013, she received the Outspoken Award presented by the Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in the USA.

Ruhsar Demirel, MHP MP from Eskişehir: MHP Vice President, Member of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Men and Women. He met with Kaos GL’s Legal Counsel Hayriye Kara and Foreign Relations Coordinator Murat Köylü for consultation regarding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Report on Turkey.

Homophobic attack by Milli Gazete!

Millî Gazete[2] reported the Turkish Parliament’s approval of MPs’  participation in the event with the headline “Parliament gives pass for Immorality.” A news report published on Friday by Ahmet Yavuz in the paper states, “even the mention of LGBT rights in parliamentary proceedings is the biggest insult to the nation and its beliefs.”

LGBTI activists from Turkey will also participate in the seminar

Kaos GL’s Legal Counsel Hayriye Kara as well as LGBTI activists from Turkey will be in Tirana for the event. Günseli Dum from LISTAG (Families of LGBTI individuals) will also give a presentation on LISTAG’s work.


[1] CHP: Republican People’s Party; AKP: Justice and Development Party; MHP: Nationalist Action Party

[2] A conservative Turkish Daily Newspaper.

Interview with AK LGBT Members

Source: Aydil Durgun, “Başbakan indirin o bayrağı deseydi tabii usta derdik” (“If the Prime Minister said lower that flag, we would have said yes, chief”), Milliyet, 10 August 2014,   http://www.milliyet.com.tr/-basbakan-indirin-o-bayragi/pazar/haberdetay/10.08.2014/1923353/default.htm

A lot has been said about the AK LGBT group that opened a flag in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally. We got together with its founder Melih and member Ali. Even though they claimed that “We are not blindly attached to the AK Party”, they also said, “If Erdoğan had said “lower that flag”, we would have said “okay chief.”

The AK LGBT group was the most talked about issue this week. They opened an LGBT flag in Presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally, and right in the front! People said they are trolls, and asked who would recognize the LGBT flag in the rally and how can there be gays who are AK Party supporters. So I got together with AK LGBT founder Melih (28) and member Ali (26) with similar questions in mind. Kadir (40) from the Conservative Gay Community (MEŞCİT) that observes the AK LGBT also came to the interview. Even though his thoughts are completely opposite of the AK LGBT, he had lots to contribute as well.

They met at common ground as conservative gays at some points. A long conversation that was interrupted by a telephone that plays the call to prayer. None of the three wanted to give their names or have their faces visible.

Being Muslim and gay are two things that are not thought together. Homosexuality is a sin in Islam. What do you think about this?

Melih: Yes, it is contrary according to Islam. But alcohol and slander are also sins in Islam. We commit zina [unlawful sexual intercourse] knowingly. I think that something given by birth cannot be considered a sin by Islam. If you are born gay but do not commit zina, that’s not a sin. If you commit zina and homosexuality, then that is a sin. Being gay does not necessarily mean having sexual intercourse. In terms of sin, we are sinners but we are not kicked out of the religion.

Ali: Being gay and being Muslim are two separate things… My homosexuality is not a barrier to me praying or fasting. No one can say “don’t pray” to someone who drinks alcohol. That would be speaking for God in a way. God says “I forgive the one who drinks alcohol but I don’t forgive you because you speak for me”. Homosexuality is like that as well. God may say “He is a homosexual but I will forgive him because he has done a good deed.” Homosexuality in Islam is based on Lot. In Lot, it is not intercourse with men, I mean homosexual intercourse. It is also incestious relations, claiming equality with God, defaming the prophet, corrupting society…


Is society ready for homosexuals?

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Toplum Eşcinsellere Hazır mı?” (“Is society ready for homosexuals?”) bianet.org, 16 January 2014, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/siyaset/152847-toplum-escinsellere-hazir-mi


“Sooner or later, a faggot will be president. Let’s give up resisting this progress.” “Society was ready for heterosexual politicians, look what happened!” “There is no division between society and homosexuals.”

LGBTI people have never been this visible in local elections before! Six LGBTI pre-candidates from Istanbul alone took action to be involved in the city councils of different political parties.

Okan Bayülgen once asked the mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek: “When will we have a homosexual mayor in Turkey?” He received the answer, “Never, I hope. There should not be one.”

LGBTI visibility in politics has always been discussed with arguments such as “Is society ready for homosexuals?”

bianet asked the pre-candidates: “Is society ready for homosexuals?”


Yet Again, No Place for LGBT people in the AKP’s “Human Rights Blanket Bill!”

Source: “AKP’nin ‘İnsan Hakları Torbası’nda LGBT’lere Yine Yer Yok!,” (“Yet Again, No Place for LGBT people in the AKP’s ‘Human Rights Blanket Bill!’,”) Kaos GL, 05 December 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15333

The conservative authoritarian Justice and Development Party (AKP) has not given up its perception of and complicity in the killings, evictions, and unemployment of LGBTI individuals as “a method to fight homosexuality.”

It turns out that the legislative aspect of what the Prime Minister Erdoğan announced as “the struggle against discrimination and hate crimes” was in fact nothing but a change in a single article of the Turkish Penal Code.


Fatma Bostan Ünsal of the AKP: There is a Place for Gays in the Prophet’s Assembly

Source: Kaos GL, “Fatma Bostan Ünsal: Peygamber Mescidinde Eşcinsellerin Yeri Var,” (“Fatma Bostan Ünsal: There is a Place for Homosexuals in the Prophet’s Assembly,”) 14 October 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15004

Fatma Bostan Ünsal, one of the 64 founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), talked to Tuğba Tekerek from the liberal newspaper Taraf and she took a outspoken stance on the LGBT rights issue when compared to the AKP. Ünsal stated that the LGBT issue is a test for them and evaluated the “democracy package“ in the interview.

“Hate crimes are mostly committed against LGBTs”

Ünsal said that the legislation on hate crimes in the democracy package, which left out the terms sexual orientation and gender identity, must also protect LGBT people:


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

Source: http://www2.tbmm.gov.tr/d24/7/7-11472s.pdf

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.


BDP Akat Ata’s Questions to the Minister of Family and Social Policies

Source: http://www2.tbmm.gov.tr/d24/7/7-29270s.pdf

Peace and Democracy Party’s Batman Parliament Member Ayla Akat Ata’s questions regarding hate crimes and the murders of trans individuals to the Family and Social Minister Fatma Şahin submitted on 30 July 2013.

I request my questions below to be answered by Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin in accordance with Clause 98 of the constitution and Clause 99 of the statute.

                                                                                                     Ayla AKAT ATA

                                                                                               BDP Batman Parliament Member

Trans individuals continue to be the biggest victims of discourses of hate and hate killings in Turkey. There have been 6 hate killings of trans individuals in Turkey in 2012. In 2013, this number has reached 4 by the end of July: one in Düzce, one in Kuşadası, and two in Istanbul. Then again this desperate situation just reflects the ones that have been made public- in reality, the real number must be higher. The violence against LGBT individuals in general, and against trans individuals in particular will continue to increase unless legal precautions regarding hate crimes are taken. Most recently on 27 July 2013, the murder of a trans individual living in Beyoğlu, Istanbul named Gaye has relaunched the discussion on hate crimes and has increased the public’s demand for legal and factual precautions on this issue.