The Commission’s 2019 Enlargement Package report on Turkey noted that there are serious concerns regarding the protection of the fundamental rights of LGBTI persons. It found that, over the past year, LGBTI activities and Pride parades have been banned or stopped by police in several provinces; that hate speech against the LGBTI community is a common occurrence; and discrimination against the LGBTI community remains widespread throughout Turkey.
Around the world, Irish Embassies and Consulates cooperate closely with EU delegations and Embassies of the other EU Member States to advocate for the rights of LGBTI persons. For example, our Embassy in Ankara provides funding to a local LGBTI advocacy group, most recently for a project that focuses on the reporting of human rights violations against trans people, and in 2017 the Embassy sponsored the screening of ‘Queen of Ireland’, during the EU Human Rights Day Film Festival.
The banning of the Istanbul Pride Parade for the fifth year in a row is regrettable, particularly as the parade was allowed for many years before. The use of tear gas to disperse those who nevertheless gathered to mark the occasion is even more regrettable, as all Turkish citizens should be allowed to exercise their right to peaceful assembly.
Together with our European partners, we are deeply concerned by Turkey’s backsliding on fundamental rights, which has negative effects not only on the LGBTI community, but also on wider society. Turkey is party to the European Convention on Human Rights, a member of the Council of Europe, and a candidate for membership of the European Union, and as such has committed to respect the fundamental rights of citizens.