- March 11, 2014
Post submitted by Noah Montague, HRC Global Engagement Intern
In upcoming elections in Turkey, three different political parties are putting forward a total of 10 LGBT candidates for city council positions in cities throughout Turkey. In a country that has been noted for intolerance and violence against the LGBT community and allies, these candidates represent a positive step for LGBT and human rights in Turkey.
The ten LGBT individuals that are running for city council represent several gay and lesbian candidates and one transgender woman and represent the Republican People’s Party, the People’s Democracy Party, and the Peace and Democracy Party. Seven LGBT Candidates are running for city council in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, two in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and one in the city of Mersin.
The announcement of these candidates for public office in Turkey represents positive strides for a country that has been subject to recent criticism in the arena of human rights. In 2013, the European Union announced that hate speech was on the rise in Turkey, and urged the Turkish government to take greater measures to protect the rights of LGBT Turkish citizens.
In 2013, Turkey attempted to draft a new constitution which would have included greater protection for LGBT citizens through an equality clause. Through efforts such as this and the candidacy of numerous LGBT individuals in Turkey, LGBT citizens, activists, and allies, hope that greater visibility of the LGBT community will lead to better understanding and equality of rights for all citizens of the country.