Hasan Atik has been nominated to run for a seat in the upcoming snap elections in Turkey. Atik is an openly gay man and long-time advocate for the LGBT+ and HIV-positive communities. He will run for a seat in Edirne under the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
HDP was the first political party in Turkey to select an openly LGBT+ person for nomination back in 2015 when Baris Sulu ran for a seat in parliament. Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, has run two trans candidates, also in 2015.
While homosexuality is legal in the country, recent years have seen a deterioration in LGBT+ rights. Ankara recently banned all LGBT+ events in the name of public safety: “In this way, it is possible that the public will induce a group of people with different characteristics in terms of social class, race, religion, sect or region to publicly harbor hatred and hostility against another part of society and thus open and close danger may arise in terms of public security,” the government said in a statement.
“(Turkey has) an increasingly authoritarian government attacking democracy and curtailing the rights of Turkish citizens exercising their rights to expression and assembly,” OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern said. “The persecution of LGBTIQ, and all, Turkish human rights defenders needs to stop now.”