07/01/2013 | Writer: Kaos GL

Upcoming Draft of ‘Turkish Armed Forces Discipline Law’ submitted to the Turkish Parliament (TBMM) does not bring any improvement for gay soldiers; but the discrimination continues.

AKP and Turkish Armed Forces Agree On Gay Soldiers! Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Government and Turkish Armed Forces Agree On Gay Soldiers! Upcoming Draft of “Turkish Armed Forces Discipline Law” submitted to the Turkish Parliament (TBMM) does not bring any improvement for gay soldiers; but the discrimination continues. 

"Unnatural intercourse" regulation that stigmatizes and punishes homosexual relations of gay military officers, military students and the ones performing “compulsory military service” takes place within the scope "new" Draft too. The draft was introduced to the public on the ruling party AKP’s website in the end of 2012.  

The Draft was introduced to be “new” by the newspapers; such as in Habertürk with the headlights: “Historical Change in Turkish Army Forces (TSK)” while another newspaper Yeni Şafak announced it like "These crimes will be the grounds for getting fired from TSK”.
The current “old” law has already been in practice for many years and it defines “homosexuality” as a crime. The new draft prepared by the Cabinet of Ministers considers the same ground as a reason for exclusion from TSK, and orders to be punished.
The new draft calls homosexuality as a "crime" within the list of "non-natural intercourse" where the old regulation covers it on Article 153 of the Military Criminal Code. Due to the definition “unnatural relationship", gay military officers have been getting fired from the army and are unable to demand for their rights.  
“Unnatural intercourse” as a term was one of the controversial subjects during the “New Turkish Penal Code” debates of 2004’s Parliament as well. Probably it was the very first time that legal arrangements against “discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation” was discussed in the Parliament’s Justice Commission; it was spoken that “unnatural relationship” implies “necrophilism” but not homosexuality!
There was even much more confusion about the “unnatural intercourse” in the year 1996. In that year, Parliment’s Justice Commission was again enacting “unnatural intercourse situations” for the Turkish Army Discipline Law. The term “situation” was not clearly understood by the commission members, therefore it was replaced with “homosexuality”. According to the law, any soldier related with “homosexuality” were to be discharged!   
In the light of 2012’s contemporary draft, it is seen that, allegedly “new, historical changes” will not cover the rights and dignity of gay soldiers within the Turkish Army. Instead, the Government, defining homosexuality as a "crime" and repeating the discriminatory attitude demonstrates that AKP is in line with the archaic understanding of Turkish Army Forces.  
Full text of the draft code:
Related news (in English):
Letter from Council of Europe: Stop the degrading treatment to gays by Turkish Army
Turkey Reproduces and Institutionalizes Discrimination Towards LGBTs
Unnatural Sexual Relation or Psycho-Sexual Deficiency: Is A Third Way Impossible?
Related news (in Turkish):  

Tags: human rights, military