27 November 2015
In the Conservative and predominantly Muslim country of Turkey local lawmakers overturned a strict military policy earlier this week which in the past forced any gay man who wishes to be exempt from military service to undergo humiliating tests.
Gay men will no longer need to provide photos of themselves engaging in sex with another man nor be forced to undergo humiliating anal examinations in order to apply to be exempt from completing their 12 month compulsory military service.
The policy changes do not extend to examinations by medical professionals who are tasked with observing the “behaviours” of gay men, including their speech however the sole basis for a doctor’s decision is to be the man’s disclosure of his sexuality.
Hailed as a groundbreaking ruling, the shift is seen as a step toward aligning Turkey’s military with basic human rights.
Turkey’s strict military exemption policy only recognise requests from people who are sick, disabled or gay.