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Turkey accused of ignoring violence against gays

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  1. Why on earth is Turkey being considered for membership of the EU?
    It’s political system is both homophobic and mysoginistic.

    1. Commander Thor 21 Jun 2011, 5:57pm

      Well, not as much mysoginistic if a woman minister can claim ‘the gay’ is an illness.

    2. Andrew Wells 21 Jun 2011, 6:05pm

      Misogynistic, no (well not towards cisgender women at least). The Turkish constitution guarantees gender equality and Turkey even had a female Prime Minister at one stage. Any misogyny is purely social.

      However, is the system homophobic and transphobic? DEFINITELY. As stated in the article, there are no laws against discrimination or hate crimes targeted at LGBT people, and trans people, mainly trans women, are particularly at loss because nobody wants to hire them for work, so they have to resort to prostitution even though they STILL get stopped and fined on the streets for soliciting, anyway.

      It’s a shame that the EU doesn’t appear to care enough about LGBT people to make LGBT rights a priority for EU membership. Just look at some of the Eastern European countries that have recently joined the EU.

      1. concerned resident E3 22 Jun 2011, 8:08am

        until a decade ago there were no laws in the UK to protect gay people and a whole lot of wholly discriminatory laws on the statute book. Anti-gay crime was also rife and largely unprosecuted. In fact anti-hate crime for gay or transgendered people only came in in the last 5 years. I say that only to add a perspective.

        Relative to most of its near neighbours, Turkey is nevertheless considerably more liberal about homosexuality and, at the bnehest of the EU is in the process of introducing more. Note that the main engine for gay reform in accession countries has been EU requirements to have a whole range of human rights legislation including for the rights of gay people – so your criticism of the ERU in this regard is misplaced.

        Turkey does still have far to go but I see no reason to imagine it will not do so.

        1. burningworm 23 Jun 2011, 4:18pm

          Applause.

  2. In this case, I am not sure Amnesty Intl. gets it, I am not sure the EU in general gets it either. Turkey is different. The very thing the EU wants for membership is what is making the problems worse for gay people. “Democracy” in a Muslim country often increases oppression. This is especially true In Turkey where the military is the voice of freedom and the protector of the secular Kemalist State. The West does not understand this seemingly backwards concept. The more the EU pushes for democratic changes the more control Islam will have and the less freedom the people will have, especially woman and gay people. As things are going is probably in the interest of both Turkey and the EU that Turkey not join.

    1. Please take a moment to explain why “The more the EU pushes for democratic changes the more control Islam will have and the less freedom the people will have, especially woman and gay people.”.

      1. It is a matter of history. Look at Iran, once a Monarchy where people enjoyed far more freedom than they do today. A Monarch like the Shaw of Iran was motivated to have his country economically compete and integrate globally. Religion rarely has such an agenda as it tends to focus on social issues and backward ones at that. Once Iran became a so-called democratic Islamic Republic freedom vanished almost overnight as did their integration. In the current upheavals in the rest of the middle east the same thing is already starting to happen. The same thing is happening in Malaysia and Indonesia. The people in Islamic countries will be totally manipulated by the religion, when religion, any religion, gets a grip on the government freedom will be taken away. Turkey has become more democratic, as a result Islam is gaining more control and freedom is being curtailed. Even the US has lost a lot in recent years because the separation of church and state has been weakened and priorities shifted.

        1. @Matthew

          Whilst I accept you history is accurate, what you fail to discuss is how Turkey is now having as much of an eye on Europe as it is on Asia and is willing to engage. Although there is a strong Muslim component within Turkish society there is also a generally accepted secularlism that is growing.
          Purely because history points in one direction – it does not mean that this is a definitie outcome – many variables are different – including how LGBT rights are approached internationally, the political links between Turkey and other nations and other variables.
          I have nothing but hope that Turkey will improve its human rights and needs encouraging along the way.

  3. Democracy in an islamic nation? NOT! What a joke. Having the right to vote doesn’t necessarily mean a society is democratic by any stretch of the imagination. Turkey doesn’t deserve EU membership and has yet to earn it. I still can’t understand why those backward Baltic states are allowed in either, but then Italy and Greece aren’t much better either.

    1. “Having the right to vote doesn’t necessarily mean a society is democratic by any stretch of the imagination”

      The UK is not a democracy considering we have an unelected head of state, an ‘official’ church; and a primitive electoral system designed in such a way that minoroty interests and concerns find it virtually impossible to get elected to parliament.

      Britain really is in no position to lecture any country about democracy. Regarding Turkey – well people seem to be under the impression that EU membership is something Turkey desperately craves. That is simply no longer true.

      The Turkish economy is booming without EU membership – recording almost 10% growth year on year.

      The fact that Germany and France have stated openly that Turkey will never be a member of the EU, means that Turkey has started forging alliances with other countries in the region, unfettered by EU regulations,
      Bulgaria and Romania have FAR deeper problems with corruption than Turkey does.

  4. As for the other Eastern European nations as I am sure you are well aware they were showing signs of progress. So was China. In both cases massive numbers of right wing Xtian lunatics from the US went over there with the intention of disrupting social progress and unfortunately in both cases they seem to have been successful. In China they have even become involved in the educational system officially. It is appalling. It is also appalling that our State Dept., and those countries, does not see this as unacceptable outside interference. But since the Xtian wingnuts hold too much political power in the US I guess that is not going to happen. It is particularly tragic for the Eastern European countries as it has obviously had a detrimental effect on foreign investment. Myself included, it is no longer a place I am considering and I was very seriously a few years back, now I am looking at Latin America instead.

  5. If a primitive country like turkey joins the EU, won’t that mean they have in the near future, the highest number of meps, considering its population and germanys declining one. Part of morocco is in europe too, so maybe they will be next to apply. Looks like the islamicisation of europe is becoming more a reality

  6. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe, NATO and the G-20 major economies.

    Homosexuality, although legal, remains taboo because of conservative values embedded in Muslim-majority society.

    The fact that Amnesty International has to step in indicates to me that Turkey’s own LGBT organizations – KOAS GL and lambda Istanbul which is a member of ILGA-Europe – are being threatened in the sense that they are being ignored by the Turkish authorities.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/turkey-must-take-action-over-lgbt-discrimination-2011-06-21

    A further indication of a right-wing backlash against gay rights took place at the end of May 2011 when the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate banned the word “gay” (“gey”) – among 138 other words – from Turkish Internet domain names.

    Also, websites cannot contain the number 31 in their domain names because it is slang fro male masturbation.

    …cont’d

  7. Gay Middle East had called upon the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate
    to review its position as it contravenes various international agreements Turkey has signed.

    Also, I did not find Turkey’s involvement in the UN Resolution to protect global gay rights.

    And now that amnesty International has publicly accused Turkey of ignoring violence against gays, the obstacles to Turkey’s negotiations to join the EU are monumental,and Turkey will invariably slip back 100 years as if its efforts to secularize have not even existed.

    I hope Amnesty will soon organize a petition so that the world can express its discontent with Turkey, and promote democracy.

  8. Jock S. Trap 22 Jun 2011, 8:41am

    This is disgusting and shows how a country changes.
    When I last went some 15 years ago, my partner and I were made to feel very welcome, almost like royality. It was quite overwhelming.
    -
    Now though they have a Muslim government which clearly has contributed in the wrong way.
    -
    They need to be made to clean up their act before joining the EU.
    Such a country would not be a benefit as it stands now.

    1. And guess what – if Turkey is islamicising then the EU must accept its portion of the blame.

      In terms of corruption Turkey ranks far lower than EU member states Romania and Bulgaria,.

      In terms of freedom of the press and women’s position in society Turkey ranks higher than Italy.

      In terms of gay acceptabce Turkey ranks higher than newly apprioved EU member state Croatia.

      The double standards which apply to Turkey as opposed to the other EU member states is blatantly obvious to Turkey.

      Turkey wants EU membership in theory but at the rate theirn economy is growing over the past 10 years and with the Euro crisis in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, they are backing away from EU membership – the prevailing feeling is that they are doing fine on their own.

      Which sucks for gay rights – then again being in the EU does not mean squat for gay rights when you look at places like Latvia; Lithuania; Poland; Romania; Croatia etc.

  9. Eddy - from 2007 22 Jun 2011, 1:25pm

    Turkey is officially a secular nation. However, the fact is that almost all Turks are Muslim and therefore the reality is that Turkey is another Muslim country. Furthermore, in recent years its Islamic aspects have been increasing. The nation remains officially “secular” while becoming increasingly extremist-Muslim.

    We have seen what a mistake it was to let Christian Orthodox Greece into the EU, when Greece is only the doorstep to the Middle East. To allow Turkey, a nation that is actually PART OF the Middle East, into the EU would be utterly idiocy.

  10. in israel if u r gay u get strip searched and in uk u get equally offensive conservative minister, so its not like turkey is that bad, im totally relax about turkey eu membership bid

    1. “In Israel if you are gay you get stripped search” really? wow one story, I always thought you got state protection, huge gay prides in Tel Aviv and rights and freedoms in Israel…. ,must be mistaken…… Turkey will NEVER be part of the EU it is homophobic and backward.

  11. While the EU applies different and stricter criteria onto Turkish EU membership than it does to other countries (Poland/Bulgaria/Romania/Lithuania/Croatia etc) then I don’t think opposition to Turkish membership really holds up.

    Look at Italy – a country which does not have a free press and where women enjoy less freedom and status in society than in Turkey.

    Why the double standard.

    As for the Islamicisation of Turkey – well what do people expect. Turkey has a well educated, fully literate population who can see quite clearly that racist double standards are being applied to their EU membership application.

    Considering how quickly their economy is growing then there’s clearly a lot of sense in them forging stronger links with the Arab world – and in turn this increases their isolation from Europe.

  12. Rich (original) 22 Jun 2011, 9:02pm

    Amnesty International composed of certain number of gays who promotes homosexual agenda in the world….

    1. Homosexual Agenda? LOL! Well, if that exists, then logically you must be part of the Idiot Agenda that runs Islam?

  13. Look out also for Christian terrorist.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

  14. David Dogantekin-Parkes 22 Jun 2011, 11:04pm

    As the Civil Partner of a Turkish National, I can tell you that life in Turkey for anyone identifying as LGBT is becoming increasingly difficult. At the moment there is no practical indication that Turkey is improving in any way its Human rights. Imminent membership of the EU – I don’t think so!

    1. i have a turkish partner of 2.5 years, (we are both women), Im English and live in England and she is Turkish and lives in Istanbul. She cant tell her family about me as this will bring shame on her and potentially they will disown her. She feels she has no-one to talk to. Im excluded from a large portion of her life. Im made to feel like a second class citizen over there. We hide all the time and I feel scared as there are no laws to protect us. Living in fear is not fun and this prevents me from considering living over there. As Turkey is not part of the EU, it is not easy for her to find sponsorship here. Civil partnership is an option, but not recognised in Turkey. It is very difficult. I wish and hope and pray for a modern Turkey asap and to integrate homosexuality into normal Turkish living.

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