Gay officer ‘weeded out’ of Turkish police force
Many gay officers have been dismissed by the Turkish police force due to their sexual orientation.The Interior Ministry has defended the dismissal of a policeman due to his sexual orientation, on the grounds that the law stipulates “the weeding out of these kinds of public servants,” daily Milliyet reported June 16.
Security forces had raided the house of a policeman in Istanbul in 2009, following an informant’s notice that he had child porn videos in his home computer. The criminal accusation proved groundless, but “evidence” showing that the officer was gay triggered an internal investigation.
The High Discipline Board of the Interior Ministry then discharged the officer from public service, stating that he had “committed disgraceful and shameful acts that conflict with the quality of a public servant.”
According to Milliyet, the officer sued the ministry to be returned to his duties as a policeman, but the 8th Administrative Court in Istanbul dismissed the case.
He then carried the case to the Council of State, where a judge reported that the acts cited by the ministry as justification for dismissal were within the scope of private life, which is under the protection of the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result, there was no justification for the disciplinary motion. However, the 12th Chamber of Council of State then unanimously ruled to decline the officer’s request for a stay of execution to stop his dismissal.
The Interior Ministry’s opinion letter sent to the Council of State was even more controversial, according to Milliyet. Adnan Türkdamar, a deputy legal advisor at the ministry, stated in the letter that the officer in question occasionally stayed at the same house as two men while living with a woman, describing it as “a disgraceful and shameful act.”
“There is no doubt that practicising public duty through civil servants who have lost the required reputation would shake the individuals’ trust in the administration and lead to undesirable developments in the relationship between people and the administration. The law takes precautions to prevent such a danger and stipulates the weeding out of these kinds of public servants from the administrative organs through their dismissal,” the ministry’s opinion letter said.