Turkey progress report slammed – no progress for gay rights

Turkish activists claim: Turkey’s own progress report to the European Union ignores repeated critique of the country’s failure to protect LGBT people

Activists slammed Turkey’s progress report to the European Union (EU), saying it totally ignores the EU’s recommendations regarding LGBT rights

Turkey’s minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said the report is ‘not just a reaction’ but indicates the government’s ‘commitment to reform’.

Turkish LGBT activists, however, pointed out that the report ignores the problems and demands of gay people and justifies previous and current criticism expressed by the EU Commission.

In its 2012 Progress Report on Turkey, the EU Commission called upon the Turkish government to protect its LGBT citizens from discrimination and violence.

The report stressed that Turkey’s current draft bill of Anti-Discrimination and Equality does not comply with the EU standards as it does not prohibit discrimination against LGBT people, which continues unchallenged in the country.

The EU commission was particularly critical of Turkey’s exclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ from the draft anti-discrimination law.

Bagis however slammed the reported saying it was ‘subjective, biased, unfounded, and [full of] bigoted attitudes’.

Quoting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bagis stated that the government sees EU Accession of Turkey as a top priority.

‘However, EU has damaged its own credibility with Turkey report’, he added.

Turkey’s own progress report, claimed Bagis, shows that it is in-line with EU standards.

Nevertheless the report totally ignored the LGBT issues.

On the contrary, according to the Turkish government’s report, the draft of the Law on Combating Discrimination and Equality is presented as if it combats all types of discrimination, totalling ignoring the critique mentioned above.

Ali Erol, founder and chair of KAOS GL, an Ankara based LGBT advocacy group said Turkey’s report omits any mentions of the terms ‘sexual orientation’, ‘gender identity’ or ‘sexual identity’.

Instead, ‘sex’ was referenced in passing in three contexts associated with ‘violence’, ‘exploitation’ and ‘abuse’.

Turkey’s own report stated that country’s new constitution process is a ‘positive contribution to the EU accession’.

However the AK controlled government totally ignored and vetoed any inclusion of legal equality and recognition of the Turkish LGBT rights in the constitution as demanded by other political parties.

Erol stated: ‘Although the government of Turkey claims that they have their own report took into account of EU’s previous criticisms and recommendations; it is sadly understood that they do not take into account of EU Commission’s yearly calls for the elimination of discrimination against LGBT people in Turkey’.

by Dan Littauer
Source – Gay Star News