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Socio-political Attitude Towards Lesbians in Turkey

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This article explores issues of discrimination involving lesbians in Turkey. It analyzes and brings into focus fundamental human rights issues being faced by lesbians in Turkey with the aim of ascertaining why such discrimination still persist in the twenty-first century. The finding of this study reveals that the lesbian identity, or simply queer identity, in Turkey experiences a combination of silencing and suffocating factors: ethics, discourse, religious and state-sanctioned laws, and/or homophobic violence which, in turn, leads to systematic breaches of the social rights of lesbians in employment, housing, family life, education, public life and health care. It further reveals that even a strong social policy that is universal, like the first article of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), fails to put lesbians and other queer individuals on an equal footing with other citizens unless equal citizenship rights of lesbians and anti-discrimination principles are recognized and realized.

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Correspondence to Meltem Ince Yenilmez.

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Ince Yenilmez, M. Socio-political Attitude Towards Lesbians in Turkey. Sexuality & Culture 21, 287–299 (2017).

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