31/05/2010 | Writer: KAOS GL

On 25th May 2010, the EU parliamentaries, member of the joint Turkish-EU Parliamentary Commission met with representatives of non-governmental organizations at Istanbul Hilton Hotel.

The first intervention among the invited non-governmental organizations was made by Gülseren Onanç, the chair of Kagider, who spoke on the necessary steps in establishing the equality of men and women in employment.

Etyen Mahçupyan, the general publication director of the newspaper AGOS, intervened afterwards and expressed his views on the properties of minority funds and the reforms realized in the process of Turkey's membership accession to the EU.

The lawyer Yasemin Öz, who spoke on behalf of the organizations Kaos GL, Lambda Istanbul LGBT and Amargi Woman Cooperative said that the inability to prevent violence from the police and the society directed to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals as well as the insufficiency of the enquiries on violence acts hinder access to justice. Öz mentioned that in cases of violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, the reduction of sanctions on the basis of unjust provocation legalizes hate crimes, and that the legal changes against discrimination are vital not only for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals but for all minorities. She emphasized that the attempt to close all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual organizations is a clear violation of freedom of association.

After mentioning the necessity of legal changes to prevent violence and discrimination targeting women, Öz went on to state that the changes in laws would not suffice, court decisions do not reflect these changes and it is necessary to carry out effective action in order to change mentalities. She emphasized that legal changes concerning honor murders are needed, that much effort has to be invested in order to keep from remaining wishful thoughts and to put in practice effectively the government programs about the equality of men and women, that it was necessary to increase the number of woman shelters and rape crisis centers.

Finally, Öz mentioned their worries concerning the trial against Pınar Selek, a member of Amargi Women's Cooperative, and that they suspect that the right to a fair trial is being violated.

The head of İHD (Association for Human Rights) Yusuf Alataş talked about his worries concerning children sanctioned by the Anti-Terror Law and political surveillances.

After these interventions, the parliament members asked questions to the representatives of the non-governmental organizations and obtained detailed information about violence against women, the rape act in Siirt and the trial of Pınar Selek.

Kaos GL-İstanbul

Tags: human rights