LGBT hate crime protection law falters in Turkey

Trans pride parade in Istanbul, rainbow flag

(Photo: FP Photo/Ozan Kose)


Gay rights organizations in Istanbul, Turkey, expressed deep disappointment when the proposed legislation, to consider crimes against LGBT people a hate crime, failed to pass. Although its citizens are largely Muslim, Turkey is a secular country. Unlike many neighboring nations, it does not criminalize same-sex relationships; gender confirmation surgery and prostitution are both legal in Turkey.

An employee of Istanbul’s LGBT organization expressed his dismay and the need for more understanding of hate crimes. “The definition of hate crime must immediately be broadened. The government has to guarantee our right to live,” Ebru Kiranci told Agence France-Presse.  The current law considers a hate crime on the basis of race, nationality, skin color, gender, disability, political views, beliefs or religion, and these crimes are punishable with jail time between one and three years. Sexual orientation and ethnicity are not protected.


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