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Turkey Ignoring Anti-LGBT Discrimination Says Amnesty

Turkey Ignoring Anti-LGBT Discrimination Says Amnesty

Human Rights group Amnesty International has issued a new report condemning Turkey for ignoring violence and discrimination against the country’s LGBT population.

The 50-page report, entitled Not an illness nor a crime: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Turkey demand equality,” highlights that hate crimes against LGBTs are pervasive but ignored by the Turkish government. The report stresses that trans women are left particularly vulnerable and are subject to a disproportionately high number of incidents without legal protection or remedy.

From the Amnesty International blog:

Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey, said:

“The pervasive prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Turkey and the fear of ostracism and attacks, means that many feel compelled to conceal their sexual orientation, even from their families.

“Homophobic statements by government officials have encouraged discrimination against individuals. Rather than repeat past failures, the new government must respect and protect their rights through words and actions.

“It is the responsibility of all the parties in the Parliament to ensure that any new constitutional settlement in Turkey outlaws discrimination on grounds of sexuality or gender identity.

“Comprehensive legislation to counter discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is a must – and it should come as soon as possible. However, the authorities must also show the political will to combat discrimination by demonstrating that homophobic public discourse is unacceptable.”

The report also found that, not only do police officials leave trans women vulnerable, there is evidence to suggest that they actively pursue them to levy arbitrary, and that this occurs on a day to day basis.

Discriminatory practices have also been found among the judiciary. Though no laws explicitly sanction penalties for trans identity, the report found evidence to suggest that the judiciary has invoked overreaching penalties for trans individuals who, for instance, may have turned to sex work because they cannot find employment elsewhere due to the fierce discrimination they face.

Hate crimes against same-sex couples have also been neglected by police officials who do not always follow up charges of bias motivated crimes if they are investigated at all, says the report.

Amnesty International is calling on the Turkish government to take a firm stance against anti-LGBT discrimination and put in place legislative and policy safeguards to prevent this kind of stigmatization and victimization.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution license, with thanks to Cesar Augusto Cesar Sz.

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16 comments

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2:43PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

This is one of the major reasons Turkey won't be accepted as members of the European Union!

10:55AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Horrible!

9:04PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Turkey is moving into the hard Islamic Zone, unfortunately.

5:07PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

- not to mention all the women held as captives and forced to be prostitutes.
Turkey is like us- a country with so much potential for greatness, if we can overcome old prejudices and superstitions.

11:39AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

thanks for sharing.

8:19AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

how upsetting

7:34AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Where religion begins to rear its head - any religion - that's the sort of stuff that happens.

6:40AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

I am pleased to see Amnesty International draw attention to a very serious issue. There are some disturbing trends in Turkey as of late. While other Muslim countries are demanding more freedoms, Turkey seems to be moving in the opposite direction. First there is an attack on LGBT people. Soon women and religious minorities can expect similar repressive moves. We would be wise to be alert to what is taking place there.

5:33AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Keep the good work Amnesty International

5:26AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

This coming from a country where raping dogs is an everyday occurrence.

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