In Turkey, like in the entire world, the LGBTI+ movement expresses the demand for equal citizenship from its first day onwards. The legitimacy and basis of the demand for equal citizenship stem from the fact that the basic rights and freedoms are birthrights and thus they are valid for all. Providing equal rights to LGBTI+ with all citizens is neither a radical nor a complex issue. The essence of these rights is based on the principles of equality and prohibition of discrimination, which also constitute the foundation of the international human rights law. The demand for equal citizenship makes up the basis of our project, of this booklet and even of our movement.
During our discussion processes, where we shaped our demands, we could not find any unfaulty parts of the constitution, so to speak. The current constitution, which mentions many headings about the rights, avoids imposing binding responsibilities and positive obligations to the state to protect the rights of the individuals, both because of its superficiality and lack of inclusiveness. The constitution, which in fact must determine the limits of the state, even blurs the responsibilities and obligations of it because of the concepts especially chosen by its founding political power. These deficiencies in the constitution both prevent achievement of new rights and cause the achieved rights to disappear in a single night. Such deficiencies and mistakes felt in all sections of the constitution were one issue that challenged us while we were preparing this publication. It was not possible to bring together all the problems we have identified in this publication. Thus, we have decided to take both the leading topics that emerged from our debates and the data that we obtained from the experience and accumulation of our movement as our guidelines due to (and at the same time, thanks to) this restriction. We have included our demands with utmost priority for ensuring equal citizenship in this publication.
The demand for equal citizenship should be raised in all fields holistically. Spreading the demand for equal citizenship in the national assembly, in the juridical field, in the streets, in the workplaces and schools, in short in every place where we can, is very important for the human rights of the LGBTI+ people. The constitutional demands, as a significant and integrated part of our struggle, have been on our agenda from time to time since the days our movement became stronger.
In such a period when the LGBTI+ people are targeted by the state authorities, LGBTI+ associations and right defenders are criminalized and the spaces of encounter for the social groups are undermined by the ever-increasing narrowing of the civilian sphere, we pursue our rights without being caught in the winds of polarization. While we are being deprived of our most basic rights, we relentlessly struggle to live a life with human dignity, to be able to work, to be housed, to access the rights to education and health and other public services equally and to get access to all our basic rights. Our aim in this programme and publication is also to broaden the opportunities for accessing our rights, by presenting the constitutional demands of the subjects of the LGBTI+ movement intersecting also with various fields in a basic framework and through peaceful solutions. We have come together, discussed, and prepared this publication with this belief and hope. We will work with the same determination for voicing and spreading further our demands.
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