The New Constitution in Turkey: Not For Gays!
Saturday, September 15, 2012
By: Ömer Akpınar
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party declines a proposal for protection on sexual orientation. ‘We don’t find it right to have an expression concerning gays,’ an AKP deputy says
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has declined a proposal jointly introduced by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) that would bring in constitutional protection on sexual orientation, while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has proposed an alternative clause upon the AKP’s refusal.
“It is the duty of a state to eliminate practices and legal rules which stem from cultural or societal prejudices which are based on the supremacy of a gender,” the proposal introduced by the CHP and the BDP on Sept. 11 said.
Principle of equality
The proposal was introduced during debates on the principle of equality as part of the ongoing meetings on drafting of the “Fundamental Rights and Freedoms” chapter of the Constitution by the Parliament Constitution Reconciliation Commission.
CHP’s İzmir deputy Rıza Türmen and the BDP’s Diyarbakır deputy Altan Tan asked for constitutional protection of gay rights along with the inclusion of notions of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” within the article covering protection equality among people.
“We don’t find it right to have an expression concerning gays in any part of the constitution,” the AKP’s Istanbul deputy Mustafa Şentop was quoted as saying in response to the proposal.
Şentop also argued that the AKP is against the inclusion of such notions both within the Constitution and within the international agreements. The MHP then proposed having an article that said “Nobody can be subject to discrimination no matter what the reason is,” with the same party’s Konya deputy Faruk Bal suggested that such an article would “cover everybody.”
LGBT Organizations’ Constitutional Demand
LGBT organizations in Turkey campaign for the inclusion of terms sexual orientation and gender identity in the 10th article which regulates equality in the Constitution. A previous announcement from the Ankara-based LGBT organization Kaos GL was as follows:
“The existing constitution does not recognize LGBT reality. Thus Kaos GL has been constantly expressing its summarized demand about Article 10. LGBTs are real and a part of the Turkish society and will be a party to the New Civil Constitution as well. Fundamental rights and freedoms shall not be restricted owing to abstract and arbitrary reasons (which differ from time to time, from person to person) such as “public morality”, “national security”, “public order” and “public health”. Such expressions shall not be placed on the constitution and the lines of the constitutional amendments should be clearly drawn.”
- Turkish main opposition leader on same-sex marriage: Nobody can interfere with everybodys life17 Nisan 2015
- Boston Gay Mens Chorus to perform in Istanbul10 Nisan 2015
- Azerbaijan: Website for LGBTs and their families launched09 Nisan 2015
- Malta: I am allowed to determine what identity fits me best03 Nisan 2015
- Lesbian basketball player: Fenerbahce made me lie02 Nisan 2015
- Grindr ban in Turkey taken to Constitutional Court27 Mart 2015
- Islamist daily targets students in headscarves supporting LGBTI rights25 Mart 2015
- ECtHR: Trans people should have full enjoyment of the right to physical and moral integrity20 Mart 2015
- Peace must also be made with the LGBTIs in the resolution process04 Mart 2015
- LGBTI activist becomes municipal assembly member in Istanbul03 Mart 2015