As the Movement for Unconditional Justice, we paused our watch in front of the ECtHR every week until the next official announcement within the framework of the new measures France has taken against the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we continue with the issues we focus on weekly. The subject of this week was discrimination and rights violations of LGBTI+ in Turkey.

  • LGBTI+ rights have recently come back to the agenda because of Trustee Rector Prof. Dr. Melih Bulu, who “closed the LGBTI+ Studies Club within the university on the grounds of the investigation of the Kaaba photo” during the protests organized by demanding his resignation.
  • LGBTI+ individuals in Turkey are faced with human rights violations such as human rights violations based on Hate Crimes, Legal Discrimination, Violations of the Right to Freedom of Expression, Violations of the Right to Freedom of Assembly and Association, Discrimination in Working Life and Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity.
  • Homophobic statements of state authorities; Judges and government officials in Turkey, instead of effectively enforce the law to protect all citizens equally, use vague legal provisions to discrimination against LGBTI+ citizens. Moreover, LGBTI+ individuals are clearly targeted and marginalized.
  • Political statements targeting LGBTI+ people; In addition to the basic principles of the Constitution, it also contradicts the European Human Rights Legal System of which she is a state party and the decisions of the ECtHR. In the report in 2020, The UN Human Rights Committee, noting discrimination and deep concern for violence against LGBTI+ people in Turkey. As in previous reports, it recommends that the government take the necessary legal and political measures as soon as possible.
  • Treatment against LGBTI+ individuals in Turkey is contrary to many basic rights and freedoms protected under the Convention but basically violates non-discrimination which held in Article 14 of the ECHR. The European Commission reported that cases of discrimination against LGBTI+ people in Turkey have “frequently” seen.
  • Even though The ECtHR case law relating to LGBTI+ rights is obvious, during walking in the Pride Week, many LGBTI+ people have detained and disproportionate police action has made against freedom of assembly. LGBTI+ prisoners are forced to make sexual preferences in prisons, and prisoners who hesitate to make a choice are kept in cells. According to the ECtHR judgments, this situation is not only clearly torture and ill-treatment but also against the prohibition of discrimination.

As a solution to this situation; The expressions of “sexual orientation” and “gender value” should be added to the articles of the Constitution regulating the principles of equality and anti-discrimination and the legislation regulating hate crimes. In order to provide effective protection to LGBTI+ individuals in Turkey, all kinds of administrative measures should be taken at national and local levels. All kinds of harassment, violence and insults against LGBTI+ citizens should be investigated effectively and their perpetrators should be brought to trial. The classification of homosexuality and transsexuality as a mental illness must stop. Because a person is an LGBTI+ should in no way be accepted as “unjust provocation” for a crime, nor as “against the law and morality”.