HRW’s Turkey Report Highlights EU’s Gay Flaws

Human Rights Watch puts more pressure on Turkey this morning.

The non-profit last month demanded that the nation cease-and-desist its anti-gay ways. Apparently the Turkish government didn’t meet HRW’s expectations, because they’ve today released a 123-page report highlighting human rights abuses against the homos.

In addition to compiling a startling collection of violence – like trans people being raped by cops – HRW’s urging the European Union to withhold Turkey’s membership until they’ve cleaned up their act.

Turkish law offers no express protections for LGBT people’s universal human rights. In 2005, Turkey reviewed some of its laws to bar discrimination, a move meant to show Turkey’s commitment to European Union standards. However, Turkey has yet to adopt a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that conforms to EU standards.

“In the complex path toward European Union accession, this report points to an area where little or nothing has changed,” said [executive director Scott] Long. “The EU must fully incorporate issues of sexual orientation and gender identity when considering Turkey’s application for membership.”

Turkey’s hardly the only homophobic nation vying for EU membership. Just yesterday we reported that gays may not make it into anti-discrimination policies because nations like Poland and Italy would object. In fact, Poland’s senate recently passed its European Charter, but failed to include gay rights.

Rather than fighting for what’s right, the Union insists it must be “realistic” when dealing with conservative countries:

We need to be realistic, and we have signals from some member states that they would not support such a horizontal directive and this, of course, is a problem because we need unanimity in council to get the proposal through.

By folding to right wing regimes, the European Union does itself – and democracy – an injustice. As Long says, “Democracy means defending all people’s basic rights against the dictatorship of custom and the tyranny of hate.” One would think that Europe, with its long history, would realize that by now. But apparently not.

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  • CitizenGeek

    Indeed, I remember the days when the EU flag was a mainstay in gay pride parades and many gay rights activists would claim that Europe was on their side. Not any more, it seems, the EU has given up on fighting for gay rights and it makes me really, really sad.

  • hisurfer

    Just a technicality: there is a significant difference between ‘conservative’ and a ‘right wing regime.’ Turkey is the former (though cities like Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, et al are surprisingly liberal on many issues), but not right-wing. The fear, actually, is that the right-wing might pull a military coup and take over.

  • Bill Perdue

    I agree with Citizengeek that the EU is doing some backsliding. But still, the EU Parliament did us all a favor by recently voting to condemn the US policy that denies visas to people with HIV/AIDS.

    US politicians of both parties self-importantly view themselves as leaders of the worlds last “superpower”, an overrated idea that will be shredded by their impending defeat in Iraq.

    The administration and the Congress, Democrats included, have long been in the habit of “lecturing” other nations about human rights. This unadulterated bullshit comes from politicians who authored the genocide in Iraq, who give full support to zionist apartheid and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, who maintain the illegal occupation of Afghanistan, who turn away people with HIV/AIDS and whose policies allows immigrant workers in ICE custody with HIV/AIDS and other conditions to die for want of meds.

    “Incredibly arrogant” and “preposterous” are the words that best describe this but they even they don’t do justice to the enormity of Bush’s hypocrisy, which is shared by the Democrats. The EU may be doing a little backsliding on GLBT rights under the pressure of the Polish ultra rightists and the Brit Tories but in this case we have to salute them.
    Hisurfuer, are you referring to the secularist army when you talk about a rightist coup. Could you explain or lead me to some sources?

  • Gary

    Not as bad as all that – the Council of Ministers currently requires Unanimous decision making to pass proposals, however once the new Treaty is ratified the EU will fall under the European Commission on Human Rights (article 6) and a 2/3 majority of the Council of Ministers will then be able to take measures. Also Council will only be able to block measures if a minority vote of 35% votes against a decision – Italy and Poland together do not make 35%…


    It’s enough that the EU has to deal with places like Poland, Portugal and Italy but admitting the eastern European states will erode the advances made. If the push for membership for Turkey succeeds it will serve as the final blow. Why they are even considering it makes no sense to me.

  • Alex

    Frankly, if Turkey and the Eastern European states are uncomfortable with Western European values, they
    should not join. These values, such as individual liberty, freedom of conscience and religion, have evolved over 2000+ years of Western history and one of those values is not to force our values on others. If they see themselves as coming from a different tradition – very well and good – but then follow your way outside the Union. The EU is about more than economic benefits these days. Countries should not have the option of joining the trading zone without subscribing to the rest of the laws. THose include labor, environmental, and, yes, personal freedoms and human rights.

  • M Shane

    Turkey is coming a long way from being one of the most feared militaristic, imperialistic (Ottoman Empire) & genocidal nations on the earth to pulling back and wanting to be part of the EU. They slaughtered millions of innocent Armenians and Kurds this last century .
    Their last attack on Kurds was in No . Iraq at Bush’s request..
    The U.S. has never since WW2 been in any place to martial the multuple people who’s deaths we have sponsored throughout South America, where the CIA destroyed numerous democracies and implanted vicious dictators.
    to protect our “interests”Usually for the U.S. it’s just a cover up for invasions and imperialist moves we ‘ve kept going. No one ever mentions that Bill Clinton intentionally let 170,000,000 children under 10 in Iraq die from polluted water, or that we just let Rwanda happen.

    Turkey is doing well given thier past. they are one of the major empires besides Rome to deteriorate before we took claim. The Ottoman Emire fell as the U.S. will because it could only sustain itself by conquering . It is trying to become self sufficient now. Hard coming from a gruesome past.

  • John

    Wait a minute. Clinton killed 170 million children in Iraq?

    That’s a genocide 28 times worse than Hitler’s slaughter of the Jews. And quite impossible mathematically.

    The total population of Iraq – young, middle-aged, and old – was never more than 30 million. Under your logic, Clinton killed every person in Iraq nearly 6 times already over the course of only eight years.

    You’d think they’d stop coming back from the dead by now. Or are the Iraqis a race of super-zombies?

  • hisurfer

    John, have you forgotten the great Zombie Genocide of 1989?

  • Bill Perdue

    Mark, we all need to do a little proofreading before hitting the enter button.

    I’m sure Mark was referring to the first genocide against the Iraqis, the Clinton infanticide. The figure of 170,000 Iraqi children dead is the lowest figure attributed to Bill Clinton’s efforts to cause regime change in Iraq by murdering children. In the late 1990’s he was the first to openly lie about Iraqi WMD’s and called for an embargo on food and medicines to prompt Iraqis towards “regime change.”

    The effects were horrific and only callous assholes would make light of them. They were frequently reported and thoroughly documented.
    1999 – UNICEF, noting that “children under five are dying at more than twice the rate they were ten years ago” said Iraq was suffering from an “ongoing humanitarian emergency. “

    2000 – the BBC reported that infant mortality had “more than doubled, rising well beyond 100 per 1,000 live births” according to scientists at the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine.

    2001 – The Nation magazine reported that “Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) study in Iraq wrote to The Lancet, the journal of the British Medical Society, asserting that sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 567,000 Iraqi children.”

    2003 – the Seattle Post Intelligencer said that updating the analysis of the Clinton infanticide by Richard Garfield, a health specialist at Columbia University gave a figure for 800,000 dead Iraqi children.

    This awful infanticide was defended by Clintons UN Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, darling of the liberals. Here is a partial transcript of her heated exchanges with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes.

    “Lesley Stahl: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

    “Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

    A typical liberal Democratic answer, cold, uncaring and demonstrating their ruthless willingness to kill anyone for oil hegemony, a goal shared by Bush, Obama, Billery and McCain. Albright could have been LBJ Secretary of Defense, you remember, the jackass who said “We destroyed those villages to save them from communism.”

  • M Shane

    Thanks, Bill: I need to proofread since I don’t type well, altough ,the UNICEF figure I have from 1999 for children under 5 from chronic malnutrition is over 1million. Another source quotes a figure of 1.7 million deaths under age 10 resulting primarily from their having been 18 of 20 water/sewage cleaning facilities in the country bombed out and the intentional embargo of any water cleaning chemicals..
    Sorry folks.

  • M Shane

    The incontrovertable fact is that the U.S. has engaged in relentless warmongering, under false pretenses, since WW2.
    As a foreign friend of mine said; the pathetic victims of this are the U.S. citizens, because no one knows the truth of what they are doing. Everyone else knows that our leaders are Colonists, building an Empire which all the World resents .

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