Will Turkey Listen to LGBT Representatives?

Published: September 27, 2011

Turkey has taken one small step forward for LGBT recognition with, for the very first time, a government minister meeting LGBT representatives.

The Pembe Hayat (Pink Life) Association were invited to a meeting with civil society organizations on Wednesday, September 21 to discuss violence against women with Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma ?ahin.

Belgin Çelik from Pembe Hayat told reporters following the meeting that she had submitted a proposal for the acceptance of homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals in the new constitution that Parliament plans to draft in the coming legislative year.

?ahin encouraged the proposal, saying:

“We would like to actively work with you and your participation and suggestions will help us learn and acknowledge the problems you face.”

Pro-gay Turkish MP Aylin Nazl?aka has asked for LGBT groups to be consulted over the new constitution.

Calling on members of Parliament to handle the proposal positively, ?ahin said:

“If freedom and equality is for everybody, then sexual orientation discrimination should be eliminated and rights of these [LGBT] citizens should be recognized.”

However, Turkish MPs may face a problem reading any proposals. A report last week said that web access in the Turkish Parliament to the websites of various LGBT organizations is blocked and workers or MPs have to submit a written request for them to be unblocked.

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