Campaign demands hate crime legislation
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Professor Yasemin İnceoğlu says ‘hate crime’ is currently not defined in the Turkish legal system and minorities in Turkey need legal protection. DAILY NEWS photoSome 50 nongovernmental organizations have come together in a campaign to demand legislation in the new Turkish constitution against “hate crimes.”
“Hate crime is not yet defined in the Turkish legal system, although we witness them every day. Minorities obviously need legal protection,” said Yasemin İnceoğlu, professor from the Communications Faculty of Istanbul’s Galatasaray University, yesterday in a press conference.
“‘Hate crimes’ are crimes based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. A hate crime’s target is not only the sufferer; the perpetrator seeks to give a message about the entire group in one crime,” she said.
Numerous Alevi, non-Muslim, Roma and LGBT associations attended the meeting to lend their support to the bill. Levent Şensever from anti-discrimination group “DurDe!” said laws against hate crimes have been practiced with success in North America and Europe for more than 50 years. “For a peaceful society we need to have legal regulations on this matter as well,” Şensever added.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Melda Okur also backed the demand, saying the platform will be invited to the Constitution Conciliation Commission soon.
“Previously, CHP’s deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu submitted a law proposal to Parliament and the Peace and Democracy Party [BDP] supported this. But the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] rejected the draft bill. They reflexively ignore anything from opposition parties,” Okur told Hürriyet Daily News.
However, Okur also said some cases, such as the Hrant Dink murder or the Kurdish minority issue, cannot be reduced to a simple hate crime case. “The state could use the hate crime bill as a curtain to blur the truth. To uncover the deep state’s role in these murders we need to separate them from hate crimes,” Okur said. The bill campaign is open for the signatures of supporters at nefretme.org.