Turkey to Build Prison for Victimised LGBT Convicts

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So many LGBT convicts in Turkey are being persecuted by heterosexual inmates that a new LGBT-only prison facility will be built to house them. In a response to a member of parliament’s question about the treatment of minority groups in gaol, Bekir Bozdag, Turkey’s Minister of Justice, said that the measure was necessary to ensure proper protection of LGBTs.

A recent study shows that there are approximately 80 openly LGBT offenders held in so-called ‘pink wards’ in Turkish prisons, although the true number is likely to be far higher than that because many LGBTs keep their true sexual persuasion a secret for fear of being victimised.

This new announcement is seen by many as a sad indictment of the way Turkey treats its gay and lesbian community. In recent months European Union spokespeople have questioned whether Turkey’s poor record on human and LGBT rights should preclude them from joining the EU.

Turkey’s ‘pink prison’ initiative is thought to have been inspired by Italy which, in 2010, opened Europe’s first ever prison for transgender convicts.

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