Source: LGBTI NEWS TURKEY, simultaneous translation at event, 10 December 2013.
First of all we would like to thank you for this opportunity on this very important day, on human rights day. I am representing the main opposition party from Turkey, which is the Republican People’s Party.
Even though there is an ocean between Turkey and the US it is almost like we are neighbors. Both countries visit each other quite often and the president of the Republican People’s Party was just here. So I think everyone is following each other quite well. We are also sure that you have been following the rights violations in Turkey. These happen in various fields but the most important are the problems in the judiciary, in the freedom of expression, long detainment periods of parliamentarians as well as journalists.
LGBTI NEWS TURKEY submitted this document at the Core Group Luncheon Hosted by the European Union for LGBTI activists in New York on 9 December 2013. The same document has been serviced to the United Nations Press Office for International Human Rights Day.
Human Rights Violations in Turkey and LGBTI People
Violations of human rights in Turkey are well documented: During the 2013 Gezidemonstrations, 5 protestors were killed, more than 8,000 people were injured. Unofficial detentions and arbitrary arrests were recorded.
Turkey has one of the world’s worst records in press freedom: Data from October 2013 puts the number of imprisoned journalists at 65 for allegedly aiding terrorism and coup attempts. The trial of Hrant Dink’s murder is pending since 2007. Gag orders are widespread and media highly biased.
Though a wide-range of individuals and groups have faced rights violations, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex) people in Turkey have long been one of the most obvious targets due to deep-seated social and political prejudices that almost naturalize and render invisible some blatant forms of discrimination.
These violations occur in almost total disregard of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is binding for Turkey under international law. ECHR also takes priority over domestic law, put in motion by Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution.