European Parliament calls on Turkey to improve situation LGBTI people

In the last of its annual progress reports on accession countries, the European Parliament evaluated the situation in Turkey, including the situation of LGBTI people.

TurkeyThe resolution also takes stock of last Sunday’s parliamentary elections, which are welcomed by the European Parliament for resulting in “the most inclusive and representative parliament in Turkish modern history.”

For the first time, the HDP, a party in favour of gender equality, LGBTI rights and civil liberties, gained enough support to pass the 10% election treshold.

In the progress report, the Parliament calls on Turkey to “undertake serious efforts to protect the rights of the LGBTI community.”

The Parliament “expresses concern at the frequent attacks on transgender persons and the lack of protection provided to LGBTI persons against acts of violence.”

Furthermore, parliamentarians are concerned that violence often goes unpunished, or that sentences are reduced.

To this end, the Parliament urges Turkey to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and hate speech law, which should include sexual orientation and gender identity.

It also asks Turkey to include protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the constitution.

Lastly, the report criticizes the ban on LGBT people in the Turkish Armed Forces.

Sophie in ‘t veld MEP, Member of the EU – Turkey delegation and Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “Way too often Turkish lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people find themselves victim of discrimination, hate speech, violence, and even murder. The recent violent attacks illustrate the vulnerable position of trans people in particular”

“Authorities should no longer turn a blind eye, but address these issues head-on.”

Kati Piri MEP, author of the report and member of the Intergroup on LGBTI rights, added: “The parliamentary elections have shown that many Turkish people demand respect for fundamental rights”

“I have good faith that with the new composition of the Turkish Parliament, the needs of LGBTI people will be listened to more than ever, and I look forward to cooperating with LGBTI NGOs and Turkish politicians from all parties to make this work.”

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