The Turkish government is continuing with plans to limit the rights of LGBTQ people, according to a human rights activist, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this week signalled new constitutional changes that will aim to “protect the family values”.
Erdoğan on Wednesday called on the opposition to support new changes that will grant constitutional recognition of the educational and employment rights of Muslim woman who cover their hair, after Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), proposed a new law that would give similar guarantees.
Erdoğan also said that his government was planning to propose changes in constitution to protect the family. Later in the week, Erdoğan added LGBTQ people to his plans for new constitutional changes, saying that some powers were using the issue of LGBTQ people to cause the deterioration of the Turkish family structure.
Citing sources in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Altan Sancar, a journalist in Ankara, said on Friday during a program on YouTube that the government might propose changing the definition of the family in Article 41 of the constitution, which will target not only LGBTQ people but all types relations other than wedlock.
According to Yıldız Tar from KAOS GL, a prominent LGBTQ organisation, the government has declared war against feminists and LGBTQ people. The government’s proposed changes might be similar to those already adopted in Hungary, Tar told Gazete Duvar.
Emrah Şahin, a lawyer who works for LGBTQ rights, said that Erdoğan had been trying to consolidate conservative voters as elections neared.
“Adding a new auricle against LGBTQ people, naming them openly in fact will lead them to do something they do not want; by including sexual orientation and gender identity into law this will in fact mean recognising the LGBTQ people. Because up until today these people did not exist in their eyes,” Şahin said.