Turkey Plans to Segregate Gay Inmates, Angering Rights Groups

LGBT rights groups in Turkey are alarmed at government plans to create separate prisons for inmates who declare themselves gay, AFP reports:

TurkeyJustice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced at the weekend that plans were underway to construct separate prisons for openly gay inmates in a bid to "protect convicts" with different sexual orientations.

"Convicts who stated that they are gay will not mix with other convicts in the communal area or during social activities in the new prison facilities," Bozdag said in a written answer to a parliamentary question.

Rights groups say it will lead to profiling:

"This is a medieval-age practice. This kind of segregation is nothing but a punishment" said Murat Koylu, a spokesman for the Ankara-based gay rights group Kaos GL.

"Instead of creating public areas where people from all sexual orientations can live together, the government has once again chosen to ostracise homosexuals," he said.

"This will lead to the profiling of gay prisoners, as well as their families and the prison itself. How will the government be able to protect those prisoners who are not openly gay?"

The ministry counts a total of 79 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) prisoners in Turkey — but the number is thought to be much higher since most homosexuals hide their sexual identities while imprisoned.


  1. Eddy says

    Yeah, America’s being doing this for years, for various reasons, but mainly to protect gay inmates from rape and becoming “prison” slaves. Having been in jail on a few occasions for civil disobedience, you definitely want to say you’re gay and get the pink tank!!

  2. JMC says

    I guess in theory I don’t see the problem with this, but seeing as it’s Turkey I’m sure the result of this won’t end up being strictly “gay people are kept safe from homophobic prisoners”.

  3. Paul R says

    In Turkey about 99% of gay men lie about being gay *outside* of prison, so I can’t imagine being out inside of it. So unless segregation is a cover for “we’re putting the gays in a prison you’ve never heard of, and you shouldn’t count on hearing from them again,” it doesn’t seem like an inherently awful idea. It could be like what Malta is doing—at least pretending to care about basic rights for gays to stay on the good side of the EU. But who knows. And it’s true that most families would abandon an out, imprisoned relative.

    Turkey is hardly a backwater—especially Istanbul, which is amazing and filled with tons of hot guys (out or not) falling all over themselves to mess around with other guys. That’s what happens when you segregate a traditional society by sex! But there are also gay bars, at least one gay hotel/B&B (quite lovely), and cruising all over the capital.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    In the 1980s (and I guess, before) Philadelphia’s county jail system was segreated based on sexual orientation/gender expression.

    Don’t ask me how I know.

    The prison guards seemed more vicious towards openly Gay or Transgender inmates than the other inmates. And Gay and Transgender inmates were segregated to the cell blocks meant for violent offenders (as opposed to those for property crimes)–I guess because there were always two guards on duty on the cell blocks for violent offenders rather than just one…I guess.

    Anyway, in the 1990s Mayor John Street (who some of Philly’s Gays thought was an enemy)appointed an openly Gay man as Commisioner of Philadelphia County Jails. His name was/is Leon King.

    When I think about how viciously anti-Gay those prison guards were, and then to know that for 7 years they had an openly Gay boss…well, if you stick around long enough, darlings, you may get some type of revenge.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    “segregated by sexual orientation….” and “CommisSioner Leon king”

    Proof reading shouldn’t be a chore. It can relieve of great humiliation.

  6. Anonymous says

    I kind of wonder if you guys actually read the article. It says separate prisons are being built for gay people, and that they will not be allowed to mix with each other during social activities. How an activity can be social when nobody can mix is a question. Remember that Turkey is run by numbskulls even worse than the republicrats we’re all accustomed to. The AK party is becoming increasingly bold with Islamic hardline. What this amounts to is special prisons for LGBTs where they are on functional solitary all the time. But maybe you guys are right, maybe they’ll be happy fun gay prisons.

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