LGBTQIA+ : défis de la vie


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Legal Challenges

Défis juridiques

Homosexuality is legal in Turkey and There are no specific laws punishing people for being LGBTQIA+. However, no laws exist yet in Turkey that protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination in their lives aspects though Turkey's queer rights are relatively progressive compared to most other Muslim-majority countries.  The criminal code also has vaguely worded prohibitions on "public exhibitionism," and "offenses against public morality" that can be used to harass queer persons. There are no legal protections for same-gender couples. This means that LGBTQIA+ individuals cannot marry, adopt children, or access other legal protections available to heterosexual couples. Transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since 1988 and reassignment surgery is available for people more than 18 years in Turkish major cities. To change one's gender section on an identity card, the procedure must be conducted at a state hospital. Homosexuality is still legally considered to be a mental health disorder in Turkey and consequently, homosexual/bi men are exempted from military service.​

Pictogram Social Challenges

Societal Challenges

Défis sociétaux

Homosexuality is taboo in Turkey and the culture of "honor killings" is observed in Turkish society. Prejudice against queer people is common in many areas. LGBTQIA+ individuals still face significant challenges and violence such as bullying, beating, robbery, harassment, and the threat of murder by individuals and organisations including police. They also face social stigma, ostracism, rejection, or violence, attack, and hate crimes from their families, peers, or community members and discrimination in employment, housing, and healthcare. They may also experience lack of visibility and representation. It is specifically the case for transgender persons. Additionally, they may have restrictions for freedom of expression particularly regarding public events and demonstrations. The government has banned Pride marches and other LGBTQIA+ events, citing concerns about public safety and public order. ​

Pictogram Activism



There are several LGBTQIA+ organisations in Turkey promoting queer's rights and visibility:​

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Turkey itself is a destination of queer asylum seekers from Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and so on who are seeking asylum normally in the third safe European and North American countries due to Turkey considers them ineligible for refugee status and UNHCR is responsible for their protection. Queer asylum-seekers often have to wait for months or even years in Turkey. By the way, there are still Turkish LGBTQIA+ individuals who have fled Turkey and sought asylum in other countries in Europe (e.g. Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and France) and North America due to persecution, discrimination, and violence based on their SOGIESC.​

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