12/12/2012 | Writer: Kaos GL
‘In addition to the fact that Republic of Turkey does not fulfill the standards and norms of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it does not conform to Community Acquis of European Union as well. Turkey reproduces and institutionalizes discrimination against LGBTs.’
Kaos GL Association called out to the Government: “Take the necessary steps to prevent violation of human rights of LGBTs immediately!”
Kaos GL Association made a statement to the “media and the public” on the occasion of Human Rights Day, the December 10th: declaring that:
“In addition to the fact that Republic of Turkey does not fulfill the standards and norms of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it does not conform to Community Acquis of European Union as well. Turkey reproduces and institutionalizes discrimination against LGBTs.”
Here is the full text of the statement:
United Nations agreed to “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” that is against discrimination for the equality in the human dignity 64 years ago.
Being the date upon which agreement on “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” was reached; today December 10th is celebrated as Human Rights Day.
After Universal Declaration, “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” and “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and lastly The Yogyakarta Principles, which is guideline principles of Unite Nations on the issue, brought LGBT rights to the agenda of fundamental human rights.
Republic of Turkey ratified “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, which was issued for securing and development of human rights on 6 April 1949.
There has been no improvement in LGBT rights, since Turkey entered to the process of European Union in the beginnings of 2000’s. The first and most concrete article of Community Acquis of European Union, which demands amendments of labor laws for prevention of discrimination based on sexual orientation, has never been brought to public debate. Moreover, government removed the term “sexual orientation” from the draft of Anti-Discrimination and Equality Board Law.
Today, Republic of Turkey does not conform to “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and Community Acquis of European Union, thus it reproduces and institutionalizes discrimination against LGBTs.
Although being “homosexual” is not officially considered as a crime that requires punishment by law; LGBTs are subject to practices like discrimination and terrorization and also victims of violent crimes.
Discrimination against LGBTs based on gender identity and sexual orientation, dismissal, psychological and physical violence, complete exclusion from the society and even threats to right to life targeted to LGBTs continues.
We, as Kaos GL Association, are making a statement to Government, saying that: “Take the necessary steps to prevent violation of human rights of LGBTs immediately!”
The 10th article of the Constitution of Republic of Turkey which is entitled as “Equality before the Law” must include gender identity and sexual orientation as two of the non-discrimination grounds. In the same spirit, equality of gender identities and sexual orientations must be recognized in the anticipated New Constitution and an article that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation must be stated clearly.
The 122nd article of Turkish Penal Code which is entitled “Discrimination” must include gender identity and sexual orientation as two of the non-discrimination grounds.
The 3rd article entitled “Principle of Equality and Prohibition of Discrimination” of The Draft of Anti-Discrimination and Equality Board Law must include gender identity and sexual orientation as two of the non-discrimination grounds.
Human Rights Institution of Turkey and Office of the Ombudsman of Turkey must handle every violation of human rights, democracy and law that is in its legal mission and liability in the light of approach based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Draft of Foreigners and International Protection Law must include gender identity and sexual orientation as two of the non-discrimination grounds in its part that regulates prohibition of discrimination.
The anticipated Hate Crimes legislation must be finalized as soon as possible and punitive measures must be taken against hate crimes against LGBTs. It is also crucial that in the legislation it must be stated clearly that reduction of penalty based on “unjust provocation” is inapplicable for hate crimes.
The notions such as "public morality", "obscenity", "impurity" and "infamous crime" and similar vague notions must be removed or reformed in a way that they will not be interpreted against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people in The Constitution of Republic of Turkey, Turkish Penal Code, Turkish Civil Code, The Law on Misdemeanors, and similar laws; and in the regulations of various public institutions.
Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights must be ratified by Turkish Government.
Turkey, as a founding member of Council of Europe, must take all necessary legislative and political steps to conform to CoE’s Committee of Ministers Recommendation and Resolution of Combating Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination, which is issued by the Council of Europe in 2010.
Precautions must be made to dispose the biased and discriminatory attitudes of law enforcement and judicial bodies that increase the unjust treatment of victims of hate crimes, discrimination and police harassment.
Description of homosexuality and transexuality as “a severe psychological disorder" in the regulation of health requirements of Turkish Armed Forces must be disposed of. Additionally, the degrading practices, those homosexual, bisexual and transsexual individuals are forced to endure in the process of exemption from military service must be eliminated.
Discipline Code of Turkish Armed Forces supports discrimination and disavowal of homosexual officers. Stigmatization and penalization of homosexuality as an “unnatural sexual relation” within this code must be eliminated. Discipline Code must be amended and homosexuality must not be criminalized.
Government must ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in work life. Regulations must be made that prohibits discrimination against LGBTs in employment posts, in actual employment process and at the end of employment. Equality of gender identity and sexual orientation must be stated after the equality of sex in Labor Law, thus securing the work life of LGBT employees.
Social and institutional training programs must be implemented and their implementation must be followed up by the state in education, employment, health and other services in general, both in private and public sectors, as a positive obligation towards the LGBTs.
Stop denial and discriminatory policies against LGBTs!
Recognize the reality of gender identity and sexual orientation!
LGBT rights are fundamental human rights!
Kaos GL Association
10 December 2012, Ankara
Translation: Sercan Kıyak