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Openly gay man to run in Turkey’s snap election

Jasmine Andersson May 28, 2018

An openly gay man will be running in Turkey’s snap election in spite of the country’s intense crackdown on LGBT+ rights.

Hasan Atik will be running in the west of the country for a seat in the June 24 election as part of the left-leaning People’s Democratic Party (HDP), reported Gay Star News.

The political hopeful is an ardent campaigner for LGBT+ rights.

 

Hasan Atik, centre
Hasan Atik, centre

Atik, who is also HIV positive, has spent his political days campaigning to address the stigma surrounding living with the condition.

“The goal is to protect the other person from us,” he told Kaos.gl.

“This is “othering” us. The situation – where we are already a monster in the eyes of the public – becomes worse.

Atik said that he is “forced” to tell people he lives with HIV.

“In Turkey, because there are no HIV laws, there are harsh sanctions. I am forced to tell people about my condition,” he told the publication.

“In the Constitution, I have the guaranteed right to not share my medical information if I do not want to,” he continued.

On the other hand, the laws, by preventing me from using my constitutional rights, force me to tell my medical history.

Turkey’s LGBT+ community is experiencing an intense crackdown on their rights.

Turkish riot police officers block ways to Istikjlal avenue for LGBT rights activist as they try to gather for a pride parade, which was banned by the governorship, in central Istanbul, on June 25, 2017. (Photo by YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Amnesty International has warned that Turkey’s LGBT+ community is “living in more fear than ever.”

“With the crackdown on freedom of expression, spaces for LGBT+ people to be themselves are shrinking,” an activist told campaigner Milena Buyum in an exclusive for PinkNews.

“They see no hope, no future. Many of us have either moved to other countries or are thinking of leaving.”

The Turkish snap election will take place on June 24.

It was originally scheduled for November 2018.

Primark has come under fire for producing part of its Pride clothing collection in Turkey.

A spokesperson for Primark confirmed that the products are “manufactured in China, Turkey and Myanmar… in accordance with internationally recognised standards.”

This is in spite of the fact that all three countries have an abysmal record on LGBT+ rights.

More: Europe, Politics, Turkey, Turkey

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