This is good news, and suggests that Mr Eroğlu is serious about decriminalisation.
The only real question is whether TRNC will decriminalise before or after the inevitable ECHR decision against it in the case currently being brought by the Human Dignity Trust.
My guess would be that TRNC will bring forward legislation before the ECHR case gets to a hearing, and that TRNC will then ask the ECHR to stay its decision while the legislative process takes its course. All this will buy TRNC a little time while keeping the EU on side and avoiding the stigma of an adverse decision.
Even if TRNC does ask the ECHR to delay in handing down a decision, that is still likely to mean a quicker path to decriminsalisation than an ECHR judgement alone. An ECHR judgement is only a means to shame the TRNC government, and has no practical effect in TRNC. So the (now significant) signs that the government is willing to move on this are the best hope for gay residents of Northern Cyprus.
Northern Cyprus needs to decide where it stands. I am not holding my breath.
Northern Cyprus has a long road ahead of it. Let’s hope that the journey is not too bumpy on the way to full equality!
It would be nice to think that a wide ranging range of reforms could be brought in instead of years of incremental inching forward. An LGBT equality bill covering decriminalisation, equal age of consent, anti-discrimination and civil unions would save a lot of time and effort and perhaps in some way make up for the shame of being the last place in Europe to criminalise gay sex.
The fact that nearly 40% of the island continues to be illegally occupied by the ‘TRNC’, recognised by nobody other than Turkey and in complete violation of international law, is more offensive to me than the fact that this occupation criminalises homosexuality. I’m not excusing its poor record on gay rights but the Republic of Cyprus which is internationally recognised as the sovereign state of the whole island, does not criminalise homosexuality. I struggle to see how the ‘TRNC’, an insult to hundreds of thousands of displaced, injured and murdered people (Greek and Turkish Cypriot) can be reconciled with the values of civilisation and inclusion.
You are Ben Bradshaw and I claim my prize !
I’ve always liked Michael Cashman… :o)
Michael Cashman, like Peter Tatchell has been a great campaigner for gay rights. He took part in the first significant gay kiss on British Television when he played Colin who lived with his partner, Barry on Abert Square in BBC’s Eastenders and since then we have never looked back. Northern Cyprus, ignore Michael Cashman’s voice at your peril!