European Parliament

LGBTI rights are trade union rights!

Unionists from eight countries and representatives from LGBTI organizations met in Ankara this weekend for the Kaos GL symposium.

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “LGBTI rights are trade union rights!”,, 16 December 2014,

The 3rd Symposium Against Discrimination that was organized by Kaos GL Association spread the message that “LGBTI rights are trade union rights!”

Activists joined in the budget protest on Saturday, mobilized by the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DISK) and the Confederation of Public Workers’ Union (KESK), asking for a “budget for people, rather than palaces.”


“LGBTI people are subjected to self-censorship at workplace”

The 3rd Symposium against Discrimination was opened by Ulrike Lunacek, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI rights, via a video message.

Lunacek emphasized that the European Union’s chapters 23 and 24 should be opened in accession negotiations with Turkey, which focus on judiciary and fundamental rights, and justice, freedom and security.

Stating that laws are not enough to tackle discrimination, Lunacek stressed that LGBTI people are subjected to self-censorship in the workplace.

“How come a police officer can be fired based on his sexual orientation in 2014 in Turkey?” asked Lunacek, pointing at the importance of heterosexual allies in the fight for LGBTI equality. Below are some highlights from the sessions of the symposium.


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,

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.