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Turkey's new draft army bill still punishes gay and trans people

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Gay Star News
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January 8, 2013

The Turkish government submitted a new draft regulation for the Turkish Armed Forces that retains the article ‘unnatural intercourse’ which has been used to stigmatize and punish LGBT people. Turkish LGBT rights group accuses the government of colluding with the army to preserve anti-gay and trans measures. The draft which was introduced to the public in the new year on the website of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party (AKP) , was hailed by the press as ‘new’ and ‘historical’. The current ‘old’ law defines homosexuality, under Article 153 of the Military Criminal Code, as an ‘unnatural intercourse’ and a crime which is often used to exclude gays from military services as well as punishment and grounds for dismissal. The ‘new’ draft retains exactly the same definition listing homosexuality as an ‘unnatural intercourse’, and was introduced to parliament despite being previously criticized.  In 2004 the Turkish parliament discussed the meaning of ‘unnatural intercourse’ under the new Turkish Penal code and agreed it does not apply to homosexuality (only to necrophilia and other non heterosexual and homosexual sexual acts). KAOS GL, an LGBT advocacy organization based in Ankara, the nation’s capital accused the AKP of colluding with the Turkish Armed Forces anti-gay policies.