01/03/2013 | Writer: Kaos GL

Murat Köylü from Kaos GL paid visits to various European Union institutions following the suggestion of Delegation of Turkey to the European Union in Brussels.

Kaos GL Visited EU Institutions in Brussels Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+
Murat Köylü from Kaos GL paid visits to various European Union institutions following the suggestion of Delegation of Turkey to the European Union in Brussels.
During the 5 day long interviews on February 11-15, social and institutional discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and the continuing verbal and physical violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTs) in Turkey was the main subject. 
In addition to this hot topic, Turkey’s general human rights and democratization agendas and the negotiation process with the EU were focused.
It caused confusion that, "Turkey’s Own Progress Report", which was shared with the public in recent weeks by the Minister of EU Affairs, Egemen Bagis, has not been translated into English yet. This report totally ignores EU’s various criticisms to Turkey on LGBT rights.
During the discussions, the following topics regarding protecting and strengthening the rights of LGBTs in Turkey in terms of alignment with the EU acquis were emphasised:
-          New “Civil” Constitution of Turkey
-          Draft of Anti-Discrimination and Equality Board Law
-          Draft of Foreigners and International Protection Law
-          Draft of Prevention of Human Trafficking and Support to Victims Law
-          The Need for Legal Arrangements Regarding Prevention of Hate Crimes
-          The Need for Legal Arrangements Regarding Data Protection 
-          The obligation of directly related ministries to have an equal approach towards all sexual orientations and gender identities within the scope of their legislations and policies (Especially Ministries of Justice, Interior, Labour and Social Security, Family and Social Politics,  Culture and Tourism)
-          National Human Rights Institution and Ombudsman Institution of Turkey
-          The reluctance and deficiency of Turkish legal system on following the jurisprudence of the European Court  of Human Rights decisions
-          Lack of knowledge of public administration; homophobic and transphobic statements of the public officials and politicians
-          Up-to-date information on United Nations, Council of Europe and international civil society reports on discrimination and violence against LGBTs in Turkey  
-          Positive supporting attitudes of the CHP and BDP, supporting LGBT rights (2 of the 4 political parties from the Turkish Parliament)
-          EU criteria regarding discrimination in employment and work life and current situation in Turkey 
-          Discrimination and stigmatisation within the scope of newly enacted Discipline Code of Turkish Army Forces
-          The reluctance and deficiency of private sector in Turkey regarding supporting LGBT rights
-          The situation of LGBT refugees in Turkey
-          Requirement of education to protect LGBT children from bullying and social exclusion
-          Dissemination of the accurate and up to date information on sexual orientation and gender identity via academic activities
-          Kaos GL’s ongoing relationships with the United Nations and the Council of Europe bodies and the contemporary LGBT agenda of these organisations
Below are the names of the officers from the EU institutions. These persons and institutions are monitoring Turkey regarding the accession process; and they provide coordination and information to EU bodies and Turkish side.
-          Klaus Hullmann, EU Committee of Regions Information Office: EU’s formation process, its basic institutions and bodies, general information on EU’s relations with Council of Europe, fundamental EU units working for sexual orientation and gender identity equality, relevant conventions and directives.
-          European Commission Directorate General of Enlargement Deputy Head Christos Makridis and Turkey Unit Policy Expert Eduardo Bryant: The urgent need for social awareness campaigns on LGBT visibility and protection of their rights via public-civil sector collaboration.LGBTs within the scope of contemporary human rights reports. The lack of LGBT role models in the political field and popular culture. Going beyond the ghettoes and becoming a political object. Exclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) from Turkey’s Ant-Discrimination and Equality Board Law will be explicitly incompatible with EU Community Acquis. Inclusion of SOGI within the scope of Hate Crimes Law’s protection grounds is vital. “It is for public interest to prevent LGBTs from discrimination and violence.” C. Makridis
-           European Commission Directorate General of Justice Anti-Discrimination Policies Team Leader Juan Gonzalez Mellizo: Turkey’s burden to prevent discrimination in employment due to EU accession process. EU directives to prevent discrimination in employment and work life on grounds of SOGI. The vertical/horizontal dialogue and social debates on LGBT rights in EU and members states. The need for EU to enrich LGBT rights at the policy level. The current economical crisis and negligence to enact Horizontal Directive which is expected to equalize LGBT rights and elder persons’ rights with the other protected categories. Science is one of the fundamental stakeholders to equalize al sexual orientations and gender identities. Sharing of “best practices” of amongst EU member and candidate states.
-          European Parliament Interparliamentary Delegation Desk Officer Michal Malavec: EU’s enlargements policies and the decretive importance of human rights. Relations with the human rights organisations from Turkey. The contemporary agenda on SOGI of EU- Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (25 MEPs from EU, 25 MPs from Turkey) and the persistent emphasise on the subject with the Turkey’s annual progress reports. National legislation and policies to prevent LGBTs from discrimination and violence are “non-negotiable” for accession to EU and full membership status.
-           European Parliament External Affairs Committee General Secretary Silvio Gonzato: Violations of LGBT rights in Turkey will be systematically emphasized by the European Parliament’s annual resolutions to Turkey. European Parliament takes into consideration of the LGBTs situation in Turkey, both in political and the economic relations. Just like European Commission, European Parliament (EP) thinks that legal and political conditions to protect LGBTs from discrimination and violence are not negotiable in terms of EU enlargement policies. EP monitors the new constitution process in Turkey and is concerned deeply by the possibility of excluding SOGI with the equality article. EP considers that, EU member states’ constitutions must be in line with the universal human rights standards and norms, not only in terms of LGBT rights, but with their overall provisions and details.
-          European Parliament Directorate General of External Policies Administrator Luca Di Preso: Elaborate interview on Turkey’s human rights and democratisation processes. In addition to SOGI issues, ethnic and religious issues, the main different approaches between AKP and CHP, Turkey’s dance between west and east. Is Turkey transforming from a “militaristic democracy” to the “tyranny of the majority”? Is is possible for Turkey to give up EU accession, or EU to cause this?
-          Permanent Delegation of Turkey to European Union Counsellor Gül Büyükerşen Oral and Legal Adviser Murat Şen: During the one hour long interview, agenda of LGBT rights in Turkey, the political debates; the reports and comments of the international organisations such as EU, Council of Europe and United Nations, on the issue were discussed.  

Tags: human rights