hate crime legislation in Turkey

The Backstage to the Hate Crimes Law

Source: Melda Onur, “Nefret Suçları Yasasının Perde Arkası,” (“The Backstage to the Hate Crimes Law,”) Odatv.com, 1 October 2013, http://www.odatv.com/n.php?n=nefret-suclari-yasasinin-perde-arkasi-0110131200

I did not expect much from the democracy package. “It is not worth talking about a package that does not demand changes in the Turkish Civil Code (TMK) and the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and that continues to defend the election threshold” but I have to talk about one point: Hate Crimes…     

About a year and a half ago, a group reached me via e-mail; they started a campaign called “I Demand Hate Crimes Legislation.” They wanted me to sign the petition and help them reach other deputies to sign. The name of the campaign was “Don’t Hate” (“Nefretme“). I went back in time to my days of journalism and NGO activism and I rolled up my sleeves to enter the process. I signed the petition and I did my best to get other deputies to sign. But really, I had two principal issues to deal with. First, I had to help the campaign in media publicity. Second, I had to help the team contact commission leaders.

I immediately contacted the Association for Social Change (ASC), which embraces this campaign. I met Murat Köylü and Levent Şensever at ASC and we launched a media publicity campaign and a schedule for the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. During this process, I met Yasemin Inceoğlu, a rare scholar who works on hate crimes. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) Bursa Parliamentarian Aykan Erdemir, who has been working on this issue for years, already had contacts with the association in the legislative process. My part was to help create public opinion.


“LGBTs Forgotten in the Democracy Package”

Source: Etkin Haber Ajansı, “Demokrasi paketinde LGBT’ler unutuldu!,” (“LGBTs Forgotten in the Democracy Package!,”) 30 September 2013, http://www.etha.com.tr/Haber/2013/09/30/politika/demokrasi-paketinde-lgbtler-unutuldu/

Levent Pişkin from SPoD Social Policies, Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association talked about hate crime legislation and said, “sexual orientation and gender identity” were forgotten. He said, “Erdoğan’s law against discrimination will be the only law in the world that creates discrimination.”

Levent Pişkin assessed Prime Minister Erdoğan’s speech on the “democracy package” and the regulations on hate crimes today.

“Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Were Not Included”

Pişkin emphasized that “sexual orientation and gender identity” were again forgotten. “As LGBTs, we have been working for the inclusion of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity within the context of hate crimes for years. As you may remember, the government drafted a bill on hate crimes. We also participated in this process. The draft included “sexual orientation and gender identity” when it was sent to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, however, the commission removed these terms. Erdoğan’s laws against discrimination and hate crimes will be the only laws in the world that create discrimination.”