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RIGHTS > Protection for gay rights vetoed

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party vetoes a proposal that aims to bring in constitutional protection for gay rights. ‘We don’t find it right to have an expression concerning gays,’ an AKP deputy says

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This file photo shows a recent protest for gay rights held in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Activists from Turkey’s LGBT had earlier made an appearance in Parliament demanding for charter protection. Hürriyet photo

This file photo shows a recent protest for gay rights held in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Activists from Turkey’s LGBT had earlier made an appearance in Parliament demanding for charter protection. Hürriyet photo

Göksel Bozkurt Göksel Bozkurt goksel.bozkurt@hurriyet.com.tr

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has vetoed 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 for gay rights, 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.”

While the articles covering “equality and children rights” were being debated, the BDP proposed a notion that guaranteed “every child’s use of his or her own tongue.”

The BDP also asked for the inclusion of this notion as “every child has the right to use his or her own culture and to use his or her own tongue,” within the draft.

However, deputies from the three other parties represented at the commission have objected to the BDP’s proposal.

The proposal was eventually rejected outright and not included within the draft. The only matter on which deputies from all four parties represented in the commission agreed upon during the Sept. 10 meeting was “constitutional protection for atheists.”

September/14/2012

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mara mcglothin

9/21/2012 9:05:24 AM

TURK OZAN I read your last comment again and it suddenly occurred to me that I really cannot stand when opposing football teams run around their area of the city chanting and waving flags-No one really cares, and there is no reason to parade around and act like you are special. In fact I see football as an unnatural fetish , afterall fans can't help it?

american american

9/14/2012 9:43:45 PM

turk as long as you ban all those people marching around with 'we are all turks' signs

Thessalonian

9/14/2012 9:26:20 PM

Kudos to commenter "rich bind" and others alike for echoing my thoughts and or my perceptions regarding the status quo of human rights and freedoms as well as the rights of ethnic minorities in today's Islamic Turkey. A country which likes to pretend to the Western world as having a secular mindset. An AKP fallacy in perpetual progress...Regards

mara mcglothin

9/14/2012 5:37:54 PM

B MEDIC BUT "sexual orientation" IS a protected class in the USA! You can't not rent an aparment to someone because they are gay, unmarried, not the right religion, not the right ethninticity, disabled, the wrong race, the wrong creed. If that isn't 7 protected classes, then I have missed one. It is simple. The new Constitution should say ALL people should have equal rights and not spell out, kapacilar, gays, alevis, Kurds, etc,, BUT ALL PEOPLE. Makes it really simple.

Turk Uzan

9/14/2012 5:22:15 PM

ALL humans, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference should have the same rights ... so there shouldn't be "any" special mention of Gays or what ever. Also ban those "ridiculous" gay parades .... yeah, we know you exists. No one really cares, there is no reason to parade around act like your special or better because you have a unnatural fetish ... so what some people like feet and some like children ... should we hold a pedo parade .. after all they (like gays) can't help it ...

M B

9/14/2012 11:48:19 AM

LGBTs are a part of Turkish life as much as other countries. There are so many of us walking on the street along with those who refused the law to protect LGBTs. We maybe work with them, we maybe live in the same apartment blocks or maybe we are even their sons or daughters. Unfortunetely not all of us come out easily to our friends, parents or colleagues because there is no law to protect us in our constitution. Very sad and again ignorance of AKP.

B Medic

9/14/2012 10:41:01 AM

I am all for gay rights. But does this issue really have to be so complicated and controversial to overcome? Most gay-friendly states in the World have no specific wordings or paragraphs in their constitutions regarding their citizens' sexual orientation. They have a strong protection of individual and human rights and that is usually enough.

Nikos T.

9/14/2012 9:44:24 AM

People who are refusing to accept that there are gays among them maybe are afraid of their own manhood...

rich bind

9/14/2012 4:41:09 AM

Yet another example where ethical value (human rights) take a back seat to the religious beliefs of the ruling AKP. Forcing school children to study Islam, denying women the right to reproductive liberty, making it a crime to be critical of Islam (of course you can be anti-Jewish or anti-Christian, that okay). Fits in well with censorship and freedom of the press.
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