Ministry of Justice on LGBT Inmates in Turkey

Published: August 9, 2013

 Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation’s (CISST) Observations and Questions to the Ministry of Justice regarding LGBT inmates and the Ministry of Justice’s response.

Source: and
A response from the Ministry of Justice, to the questions posed by Zafer K?l?ç, CEO of the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation, regarding LGBT inmates within the framework of the Law on the Right to Information, has been received [on 24 July 2013]. The observations that can be made from the Ministry of Justice’s responses are as follows:
1.    The Ministry of Justice describes LGBT people as “people with LGBT” which brings forth the question whether the Ministry considers someone being LGBT akin to living with a disease like cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis.
2.     The Ministry of Justice states that the total number of LGBT inmates is 79. It would not be wrong to infer that this number covers mostly trans individuals given the fact that lesbian, gay, and bisexual inmates can go without detection and not be included in statistics unless they express it themselves.
3.     One of the main difficulties LGBT inmates face in prison, as evidenced from their complaints, is isolation. There is information that LGBT inmates, who are few in numbers, are isolated for reasons of security and there is a sentence of conviction on this issue by the European Court of Human Rights. When the Ministry’s numbers are taken into account, apart from 11 inmates in Maltepe and 9 in Eski?ehir, the remaining 59 inmates are dispersed among 16 prisons. This situation brings forth the question of whether these inmates are isolated or not. The following chart shows the inmate and prison numbers according to the Ministry’s statistics.
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