Diplomatic community shows solidarity with gay Turkish referee
Pınar Kırdar ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Daily News Photo/Selahattin Sönmez
International embassy staff in Ankara from 19 countries played a football match on March 15 in a show of solidarity with Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, Turkey’s first openly gay referee, who has been waging a legal battle against the Turkish Football Federation for dropping him over his sexual orientation.
“Football is not the area of heterosexual men only; women, men, gay and lesbian people can enjoy football as well... There’s an obvious discrimination [against Dinçdağ] due to his sexual orientation. Not only LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual] people, but also all football fans lent their support in this fight against discrimination,” Secretary General of the Ankara-based Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL) Ali Erol told reporters ahead of the match.
The match was organized by Kaos GL and was followed by a discussion at Ankara University titled “Sports Against Discrimination Forum.”
Dinçdağ has been fighting his legal battle against the federation for the past two years. The federation denied the referee’s accusations that he was dropped over his sexual orientation, citing his on-field performance instead.
An expert report submitted to the court admitted that the federation discriminated against him, and the federation is highly likely to be convicted in the May 21 hearing and forced to pay an indemnity, Dinçdağ said.
He also applied to the federation for restitution of his refereeing rights to the federation, he said, adding that he would apply to international football bodies FIFA and UEFA if the Turkish federation rejects his demand.