But gay men, who are banned from military service in Turkey, must be prepared to show one or more of the following: photos of themselves dressed as a woman, shots of them kissing another man, or graphic photos of anal sex—with them bottoming (topping is still good enough to get you cleared for active duty).
Oh, and your face must be clearly visible in all of these shots.
As the BBC reported this week, getting a “pink certificate”—the homosexual exemption for mandatory conscription—can be a humiliating experience for gay Turks. A round of inappropriate questions is guaranteed: When did you first have oral sex? How about anal sex? Oh, and do you like football? Is that women’s perfume you’re wearing?
And the pink certificate is hardly Willy Wonka’s golden ticket: Homophobia is rampant in Muslim Turkey, and if it’s discovered why you haven’t served, you could face harassment, housing and job discrimination, or worse.
And then there are those photos. If they’re graphic enough, you’ll be deemed ineligible for the military. But afterwards? Army doctors keep your pix.
“It’s still terrible,” said one veteran of the degrading ordeal. “Because somebody holds those photographs. They can show them at my village, to my parents, my relatives.”
Photo by isafmedia