Being gay will be considered as a serious offence, along with murder, fraud and bribery and reason for dismissal from the Turkish army.
According to the daily Milliyet, gays will be discharged from the Turkish army due to their ‘lifestyle choices’, according to a new penalty regulation draft of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Homosexuality will now be clearly listed as ‘unnatural occurrence’ in Turkey’s army regulations.
LGBT rights groups have sharply criticized the new planned change, labelling it discriminatory and a violation of human rights.
They further stated that people’s sexuality has nothing to do with their ability to perform military duties.
Other behaviours set to be punished with discharge under the new penalty regulation draft are murder, bribery, fraud and imprisonment.
In other words, homosexuality will be regarded by the Turkish military as a serious disciplinary offence, akin to murder, bribery and fraud to be punished by expulsion from the profession.
Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz is expected to introduce the draft regulation to the Cabinet today (26 November).
In Turkey, compulsory military service applies to all male Turkish citizens between the ages of 18 and 41.
However, the Turkish military openly discriminates against what they deem as passive and effeminate gays by barring them from serving in the military.
Active and masculine appearing gays and bisexuals are, until this draft regulation takes effect, serve able to serve in the Turkish military.
LGBT people who wish to be conscientious objectors to military service must instead identify themselves as ‘sick’ – and are forced to undergo what Human Rights Watch calls ‘humiliating and degrading’ examinations to ‘prove’ their homosexuality.
In October 2009 the report of the EU Commission on enlargement stated: ‘The Turkish armed forces have a health regulation which defines homosexuality as a “psychosexual” illness and identifies homosexuals as unfit for military service.
‘Conscripts who declare their homosexuality have to provide photographic proof (a photograph of the person on the receiving end or anal intercourse). A small number have had to undergo humiliating medical examinations’.
The unwritten policy will now become a regulation, under the revision submitted today by Yılmaz.