05/12/2014 | Writer: Yıldız Tar
Besiktas Municipality’s Mayor Advisor Sedef Cakmak who participated in the European Commission’s seminar on local administrations and LGBTI rights told their upcoming projects.
Besiktas Municipality’s Mayor Advisor Sedef Cakmak participated in the European Commission’s seminar on local administrations and LGBTI rights. Cakmak told kaosGL.org that the Municipality will cooperate with SPoD LGBTI association to implement trainings on LGBTI rights and discrimination for municipality staff.
The European Commission organized a seminar on gender equality and LGBTI rights in local administrations during 24-26 November. Local administration representatives from Turkey and Eastern Europe shared their experiences. European Union’s policies and programs on LGBTI rights and non-discrimination were presented to the participants.
Participants from Turkey were Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Bursa Nilufer Municipality and Sakarya Municipality as well as Besiktas Municipality which stands out with its LGBTI work. On behalf of Besiktas Municipality, Sedef Cakmak, the Mayor Advisor and a SPoD LGBTI activist, participated in the seminar.
“Efforts to tackle hate crimes and discrimination are insufficient”
Speaking as Turkey’s spokesperson, Cakmak stated that Turkey does not have laws explicitly criminalizing LGBTI identities but suffers from the prevalence of hate crimes and discrimination. She stressed that the efforts to tackle hate crimes and discrimination are insufficient.
Sedef told the LGBTI work of Sisli and Besiktas municipalities, reminding of “LGBTI-friendly Municipality Protocol” prepared by the SPoD during the local elections in March, 2014.
LGBTI activists together with the Mayor of Besiktas
Besiktas Municipality put up billboards with LGBTI activists carrying banners that read “just to spite hate, long live life” for the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on November 20. Cakmak recalled the message of the Municipality for TDoR: “Trans individuals cannot be forced to live deprived of their basic rights and freedoms. Don’t remain silent towards acts of hatred, don’t be part of the crime!”
LGBTI trainings for municipality staff
Following the seminar, Cakmak told kaosGL.org Besiktas Municipality’s plans for the upcoming period:
“First of all, we are planning a series of training for staff. We are planning to raise the awareness of staff on LGBTI rights and discrimination. Along with a general training, we will implement specific trainings for directorates. We are planning to implement specific trainings for directorates such as Directorate of Health and Directorate of Culture.”
Cakmak emphasized that they will continue their LGBTI work, stating their willingness to keep supporting events like Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week.
Translation: LGBTI News Turkey