18/04/2023 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

The road mad of equality, from justice to climate, from labor to social policies, is determined within the context of the demands collected by UniKuir.

The election manifesto of young LGBTI+s: Democratic Republic, justice commissions, right to strike, abolition of compulsory military service … Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

When we consider ever-increasing LGBTI+ hostility, hate speech, polarization rushed up over LGBTI+ hostility, oppression on right defenders, disturbance of democratic instruments and independent judiciary, which have been systematically raised since Gezi Resistance, that is to say summer of our hope, and earlier on the May 14 elections, it will be realized that the result of this elections is a matter of survival for LGBTI+s.”

This is how the election manifesto of UniKuir Association begins. Having conducted interviews with 87 people from 15 provinces and 21 different universities, and having organized forums, the association has recently published “Demands of University Students and Young LGBTI+s From the Election Process and Afterwards”.

The demands in the manifesto are collected under eight main headings: Justice and human rights, environment and climate crisis, education, labor, health, political participation, social policies and services, earthquakes occurred on February 6.

“There are three poles in politics”

Mahmut Şeren, Coordinator of Political Engagement and Advocacy Program of the association, evaluated the preparation process and afterwards to KaosGL.org. Stating that they had determined three poles in politics in terms of LGBTI+ rights as a result of their activities and parliamentary monitoring studies, Şeren listed these poles as follows:

The first pole is those, who hostilize LGBTI+s and engage in hate politics. The second one is those, who try to create a rights-based approach however experience difficulty in doing so. And the last one is those, who keep silent and try not to get involved in the process. Our aim to write this manifesto is to strengthen those, who bring rights-based demand into the agenda. We realized that those, who bring problems of LGBTI+s into the agenda, don’t have an integrated approach, that is to say they consider LGBTI+ issues under certain topics, they don’t address them from a broad perspective and as a result they are blind to LGBTI+ related issues. We wanted to prepare a comprehensive list in order to change this. On the other hand, we anticipate that those who prefer to keep silent for now, will have to choose a side at some point. This manifesto should also be considered as a preparation for them. This manifesto is the main instrument to be used in this election campaign however we will not stop on May 14. We will continue to work for fulfilling the demands in the declaration by the people who will be authorized via the election.”

“Abolish the Presidential Government System”

The most prominent demand in the “Justice and Human Rights” section of the manifesto is the abolishment of presidential government system. The manifesto, which also includes construction of a republic based on pluralistic, participatory, democratic and parliamentary system as a demand, doesn’t pass over the İstanbul Convention and the Law no 6284:

“The İstanbul Convention should be re-signed and it should be clearly regulated that LGBTI+s also have the right to benefit from Law no. 6284.”

Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights should be ratified by the parliament. In addition, some conventions which have not been signed yet just like United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, should be signed; and some reservations of some signed conventions just like United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, should be removed.”

Justice Commission should be established

Another attention-grabbing demand is the establishment of justice commissions under the heading which includes a wide range of demands from redefining the citizenship to hate crimes, from shelters to judicial independence. UniKuir demands that transitional period justice commissions be established for cases and crimes committed in the past such as hate crimes, enforced disappearance, identity-based violation of human rights and war crimes; and the representation of LGBTI+s in these commissions and adds the followings: .

“Hate crimes committed in the past should be recognized by the state, a public apology should be issued for those, names of people, who lost their lives, should be given to symbolic places, and loss of victims and their relatives should be retrieved.”

Abolish compulsory military service

Abolishment of compulsory military service, recognition of the right to conscientious objection, adopting an ecology-based approach, which offers equality among all living things in energy, industrial, urbanization and agricultural policies, taking necessary measures in order to protect LGBTI+s’ freedom of expression, right to protest and freedom of organization, in the universities, are also among the demands of young LGBTI+s from politicians.

The constitutional guarantee of the right to strike

Demanding steps to be taken against discrimination in the field of labor as well as constitutional guarantee for the right to strike, the association urges political parties to take action against hatred and violence targeting LGBTI+s:

“In cases that LGBTI+s are targeted, hate speech is incited and violence occurs during the election process , political parties should react these incidents.

Political organizations, which instigate, act as an accomplice, contribute to hate crimes or produce hate speech, should be imposed sanctions such as withholding financial support, not cooperating with public institutions and being prevented from carrying out activities in public spheres.”

Click to access full text of the manifesto in Turkish.

Translation: Selma Koçak

Tags: human rights