Turkey’s new draft army bill still punishes gays and trans

Turkish government’s revised draft regulation for the army continues to criminalize gay and transgender people as ‘unnatural intercourse’ and will be used as reason for discrimination and punishment  

Turkey’s new draft army bill still punishes gays and trans
08 January 2013

The Turkish government submitted a new draft regulation for the Turkish Armed Forces that retains the article ‘unnatural intercourse’ which has been used to stigmatize and punish LGBT people.

Turkish LGBT rights group accuses the government of colluding with the army to preserve anti-gay and trans measures.

The draft which was introduced to the public in the new year on the website of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party (AKP) , was hailed by the press as ‘new’ and ‘historical’.

The current ‘old’ law defines homosexuality, under Article 153 of the Military Criminal Code, as an ‘unnatural intercourse’ and a crime which is often used to exclude gays from military services as well as punishment and grounds for dismissal.

The ‘new’ draft retains exactly the same definition listing homosexuality as an ‘unnatural intercourse’, and was introduced to parliament despite being previously criticized

In 2004 the Turkish parliament discussed the meaning of ‘unnatural intercourse’ under the new Turkish Penal code and agreed it does not apply to homosexuality (only to necrophilia and other non heterosexual and homosexual sexual acts).

KAOS GL, an LGBT advocacy organization based in Ankara, the nation’s capital accused the AKP of colluding with the Turkish Armed Forces anti-gay policies.

In a statement it said: ‘ The new draft which allegedly contains “new, historical changes” will not cover the rights and dignity of gay soldiers within the Turkish Army.

‘Instead, the government’s definition of homosexuality as a "crime" and repeating the discriminatory attitude, demonstrates that AKP is in line with the archaic understanding of Turkish Armed Forces’.

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 blasted the Turkish Army’s anti-gay and trans policy.

On 26 April 2012, 22 Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have expressed concern about the degrading treatment applied to gays and trans women by excluding them from service in the Turkish Armed Forces, and called for this practice to be halted.

In the letter the parliamentarians pointed out that the treatment is contrary to international human rights law.

The letter emphasized the importance of stopping this human rights violation: ‘We call upon the Turkish authorities to cease this degrading treatment of gay men, and to enable them to serve in the armed forces once the training and disciplinary measures have been taken to ensure that they can serve without danger of violence and discrimination’.

It seems that the Turkish government has ignored both the letter and the report.



No thumbnail available

UK gay man dies after being 'mummified'

Bondage sex game goes wrong after a man suffocates while he was wrapped in cling film
No thumbnail available

Bill to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapies on minors voted down in Illinois

A bill that would have prevented same-sex attracted young people from being subjected to attempts to alter their sexual orientation has been voted down in Illinois
No thumbnail available

Lance Bass talks to GSN about his upcoming wedding which will also be an E! TV special

'I'm just honored to be able to share my wedding with the world'
No thumbnail available

Gay sexuality must be visible in schools, urges bullying expert

New chair of charity Diversity Role Models says that gay sexuality must be openly visible in schools to prevent homophobic bullying
No thumbnail available

Namibia will seek to deny Ugandan gay refugees sanctuary

The Namibian Government plans to deny refugee status to gay and lesbian Ugandans fleeing persecution from their homelands and Namibia’s gay community is not happy about it
No thumbnail available

Qatar anti-gay laws a mere 'moral' issue, says football chief

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, is sharply criticized for saying Qatar's anti-gay laws are a 'moral' and 'ethical' issue, rather than a human right violation
No thumbnail available

Conan to perform The Simpsons ‘Monorail’ song with gay choir

Former writer of the animated sitcom will return for three nights to sing from his most famous episode Marge vs the Monorail
No thumbnail available

Carrie Underwood risks backlash after speaking out on gay rights

Religious country star and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood has spoken out in favor of marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Russia rules Jewish rainbow flag is not gay enough to break law

An anonymous objector contacted a Kremlin flag expert in order to see whether the seven colored symbol was offensive to Russian sensibilities
No thumbnail available

Miss Universe pageant decries anti-gay laws and violence in Russia but won't move from Moscow

More than 28,000 people have signed signature asking that November event be held somewhere else