LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

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The LGBT Community in Turkey: Discrimination, Violence, and the Struggle for Equality

Topic - Discrimination / EU / Law / LGBT / Religion
Country - Turkey
Resource Type - Article
Language - ENGLISH
Year - 2016

This Article analyzes the social and legal traditions that hinder Turkey’s movement towards equality and respect for human rights and suggests reforms necessary to protect all Turkish citizens, including members of the LGBT community.
These include:
(1) revision of Article 10 of the Constitution to provide express protections based on the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity;
(2) revision of the Penal Code to include sanctions for hate crimes and “honor killings”;
(3) changes in discriminatory employment and housing laws and practices;
(4) sensitivity training for police officers, and
(5) collaboration with religious and community leaders in an effort to change societal attitudes towards LGBT citizens.
Part II of the paper explores homosexuality within the context of Islam, the Middle East and Turkey.
Part III examines the scope of legal and social discrimination faced by Turkey’s LGBT community and addresses the inadequacies of existing legal protections for gays and lesbians.
Part IV discusses international obligations in light of Turkey’s bid for membership to the European Union.
Part V offers recommendations for reforms aimed at protecting and enhancing LGBT rights in Turkey