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Europe Alarmed As North Cyprus Routinely Arrests Men For Having Gay Sex

Gay sex may not be a crime in Cyprus or Turkey, but Turkish-controlled North Cyprus is still enforcing an antiquated law dating back to the British colonial era that punishes sodomy with up to five years in prison.

Two inmates in a jail in the city of Nicosia appeared in court this Sunday to fend off charges of having “sexual intercourse against the order of nature,” BBC News reports. This isn’t an isolated occurrence, either—it’s the third time in eight months that the old law, which was introduced in 1929 but effectively repealed in the late ’90s, has been invoked.

Cypriot legislators say they are working on ratifying a full repeal—one was submitted last October but never voted on or debated.

Reshat Shaban of Initiative Against Homophobia, an international LGBT rights group, told the BBC: “The repeal stayed only in words—no further action has been taken.”

Alarm from European politicians will hopefully speed up the process: Marina Yannakoudakis, who is a member of the European Parliament’s High-Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community (the Low-Level Contact Group must be busy addressing small talk), said she’ll be pushing for faster action:

“There must be an immediate moratorium on arrests under Section 171 and the men arrested last month must be released without delay. Draft legislation submitted by the Communal Democratic Party must be fast-tracked through the assembly to ensure that there are no further miscarriages of justice.”

No further miscarriages of justice, indeed.

Photo: Martin Belam

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Feb 3, 2012
Tagged: , , ,

  • 13 Comments
    • Jonathonz
      Jonathonz

      Gosh I’d love to go spend some of my American dollars there but I sure won’t be doing that until I don’t have to worry about being arrested simply for being who I am.

      Feb 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus commonly called Northern Cyprus, is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus.” ie it is a puppet state of turkey.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_cyprus

      And Turkey is a muslim country. And we know how well gays thrive in muslim countries.

      Nuff said.

      Feb 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick Farben
      Nick Farben

      @tallskin2: Because the gays do so well in Christian countries right :/

      Feb 4, 2012 at 7:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick Farben
      Nick Farben

      The main problem is not Islam, since Turkey has a secular non-Islamic government (ala separation of mosque and state), but that, like a lot of the Eastern Euro countries, it is still conservative, so what they lack is other rights like gay marriage or adoption. This is no different from a lot of US states (or Australia – where I’m from). But conservatism is steadily decreasing in Turkey, as it is also in the US and Australia and most other developed countries. It is likely that Turkey will push for the law to be repealed. Turkey wants to be taken seriously as a European state, so any such bad publicity is seen as very damaging. I would almost hold Turkey as the standard for how a Muslim country could progress into the modern era. I mean, it’s not ideal yet. There are still a handful of honour killings each year (we just call them murders in most countries), but that should go away eventually.

      The real problem is fundamentalism, which exists a lot of religions, Christianity included (Tea Party anyone?). Take Uganda for instance. They kill gays there, and they even want to make it a capitol offence by law, and they are a Christian nation.

      Feb 4, 2012 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chuck
      chuck

      Turkey is not that far from Sharia law. Since the Turkish secular military has been neutered, Turkey has slowly been drifting into being a typical conservative Muslim country.
      Quite a few ‘honor killings’, not only of women but also LGBT. Because Turkey refuses to adapt human rights as stated by the EU, it has been turning to the east. They only want to join the EU to get better trade agreements…but steadfastly refuse to ‘liberalize’ on human rights.

      Feb 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      Nick Farben – are you serious? You come over like a teenage lefty, so concerned with not being nasty to those oppressive, nice, fascist brown skinned people, that you end up full circle oppressing yourself.

      Your statement “Because the gays do so well in Christian countries right :/” is so damned silly that I am still giggling.

      Christian countries you mean like britain, france, spain, italy, germany, holland, australia, canada, for example? Not sure I’ve seen teenage gays hanging from cranes in the public square in a christian country. Have you?

      Then you come out with the most gobsmacking statement “The main problem is not Islam”. HUH??? You name me one liberal-to-the-gays muslim shithole. Can you?

      Name me just one?

      Feb 5, 2012 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scooty
      Scooty

      @Nick Farben:

      Well said. Fundamentalism “is” the big problem. One day it’ll be preached as it is written that “all things are lawful” and “all things are permissible” and gay issues will be considered in that manner.

      Also, one day, it’ll be more realized that as St Paul said, “the kingdom of God is not in word, but power”. That means that we must do more than just take anything and everything that’s written down in a literal way. We must rely on the inspiration that comes from this power or holy spirit towards “us” today. For example, St Paul said, “children who disobey their parents are worthy of death”. How dumb is that? Obviously, we must reason with and use reasoning as we navigate the scriptures.

      All of these things will be realized in God’s good time.

      Feb 6, 2012 at 6:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • darkyn
      darkyn

      Uganda is a Christian country and they are currently trying to pass an “execute the gays law.”

      Feb 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Karen Kalpin
      Karen Kalpin

      There are extremist groups in every religion who do horrible things – many American Christians despise gay people- when we were trying to pass bill c-38 for gay marriage here a LOT of American Christian right $ was brought north of the border – most muslim countries are certainly not gay friendly obviously

      If the sexual act they want to punish in Northern Cyprus (or Turkey) is “sodomy” then they need to start doing anal checks on the straight population too………….. I don’t roll that way but lots of straight folks do.

      Feb 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vore Angelus
      Vore Angelus

      @tallskin2:

      Hate exists in all of us, and is therefore in every religion there is. I don’t know about you, but I never thought the KKK was a ‘friendly group’. Nay, they don’t hang people from cranes, they just burn them at the cross.

      The problem, in fact, ISN’T Islam. It is the people that live there. We must not judge based on place or appearance, as the only one who can cast judgement is God.

      Feb 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander
      LandStander

      @Karen Kalpin: They need to check more the straight anuses. Technically, oral sex is sodomy too :-)

      Feb 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marios
      marios

      what do you expect from an illegal regime? human rights are being violated everyday in northern cyprus, how would this be any different?

      Feb 7, 2012 at 5:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      Marina Yannakoudakis a career politician who spends her time slagging of Turks in the EU parlement, a greek cypriot who uses British voters to push her own agenda. AND BLOCKS ALL COMENTS ON HER YOUTUBE CHANNEL BECAUSE SHE DOESN`T LIKE PEOPLES OPINIONS AND THERE RIGHT TO FREE SPEACH. Nigel Farage and UKIP all the way.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ePictureBank
      ePictureBank

      its not like this. I just did back from North Cyprus, and I live in Turkey, even if I’m from Poland.
      They did got arrested, because they are not gay, just …. British. Turkish people hate British and I don’t blame them. Especially on the North Cyprus – in Girne – is so many of them and they very snobby. This is a real reason.
      please have a look the photos from there, is absolutely lovely and safe place.
      http://www.cypruspicturebank.com/

      Jan 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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