Istanbul district municipality to provide anonymous and free health service for LGBTs
Three Istanbul municipalities were won by candidates who signed up to the LGBT Friendly Municipality Protocol: Şişli, Beşiktaş and Kadıköy.The municipality of Istanbul’s Şişli district has launched a free and anonymous health service for LGBTs as a first in the country, where homosexuals and transgender people are still subject to widespread discrimination.
According to the LGBT association KAOS GL, the Şişli Municipality has agreed to provide free examinations and free STD tests every three months. The policlinic allocated for the service will also allow patients to register with a nickname if they wish to remain anonymous.
Şişli, one of the most central and vibrant areas on the European side of Istanbul, was one of the four municipalities won by candidates who had signed up to the LGBT Friendly Municipality Protocol ahead of the March 30 elections.
Şişli Mayor Hayri İnönü, from the ranks of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), also recently stepped up to defend one of his advisers who had been photographed during a demonstration for gay rights.
“I don’t judge my co-workers based on their sexual orientation, but for their honesty and trustworthiness,” İnönü replied on Twitter, after an article appeared in the pro-government daily Sabah claiming that his adviser, Boysan Yakar, was attempting to stir up trouble within the CHP.
“I am very satisfied with the work of the adviser who was mentioned in the report. I wish he had been in charge during previous terms as well,” he said.
Two other district municipalities in Istanbul – Beşiktaş and Kadıköy – were also won by CHP candidates who signed the LGBT Friendly Municipality Protocol.