Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association is Founded In Turkey

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SPoD is a national non-governmental LGBT organization in Turkey. Founded in 2011 by LGBT activists, SPoD works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people at the national level.

Main activity areas of SPoD can be summarized into six, which are: 1) economic and social rights, 2) legal issues, 3) political participation, 4) knowledge production, 5) media and 6) international solidarity.

SPoD advocates full equality for LGBT individuals in Turkey with a special emphasis on social and economic rights and works for the elimination of all forms of discrimination including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation and gender expression. SPoD works for the development of rights-based social policy that contributes to the full equality of LGBT individuals. SPoD’s activities cover wide range of social policy domains including labor market, social services, education, elderly care, healthcare, housing, and income poverty alleviation.

SPoD works for the recognition of LGBT citizens as fully equal citizens of Turkey both at the constitutional level and at the level of specific laws affecting LGBT citizens. In order to achieve this objective, SPoD is engaged in campaigning and advocacy. SPoD is also committed to provide legal support for LGBT individuals facing discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation and gender expression. SPoD is making use of the opportunity of the new constitution making process in Turkey, in that respect it presented its demands for guarantees against sexual discrimination in the new constitution. SPoD first submitted a written report to the Constitution Conciliation Commission then a committee composed of three board members namely Sedef Çakmak, Erdal Demirdağ and Osman Cihan Hüroğlu orally presented their demands to the commission. Meeting with parliamentarians was a very important step that would pave the way for increased visibility of LGBT individuals and recognition of LGBT rights at a parliamentary level.

During the meeting, the activists said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people were often forced to conceal their identity and demanded that the new charter explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual identity and sexual orientation. Çakmak pointed to prejudices against homosexuality in Turkey also reminding the former State Minister Aliye Kavaf who sparked controversy in 2010 by describing homosexuality as “a disease that needs treatment.” Çakmak also said the reference to “general morality” in provisions on basic rights and freedoms was often used as a basis of discriminatory moves targeting the LGBT community and demanded that the new constitution must not include any such definition. SPoD’s works on constitution making process continues with panels and open forums to make LGBT groups’ demands more visible and contribute to the making of a more democratic constitution.

SPoD promotes active political participation of LGBT citizens at all levels of public decision-making processes and strengthens their capacity to run as candidates in local and national elections.

SPoD promotes new research on social and economic problems of LGBT individuals in Turkey including their social and economic situations as well as different forms of discrimination they face.

SPoD is committed to increase the visibility of LGBT individuals and LGBT movement in media.

While its activities mainly are concentrated on Turkey, SPoD is committed to international solidarity and is open to collaboration with other LGBT organizations, other rights-based organizations and trade unions.

Membership fees constitute the main regular financial resource of SPoD. In addition to membership fees, SPoD receives financial support from different funding agencies (i.e. European Commission, Consulates or Embassies of countries advancing LGBTI equality in their own countries and at the international level etc.) complying with SPoD’s core values. All financial resources of SPoD is fully transparent and open to external auditing.

SPoD is currently in the process of becoming a member of International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and is a member of Rainbow Coalition that is a network of national LGBTI organizations committed to progress constitutional equality for LGBTI citizens and the enactment of anti-discrimination law in Turkey.

Contact details

Address: Asmalı Mescid Mahallesi Kallavi Sokak Emin Han: No: 10/4 Beyoglu Istanbul Turkiye


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