Everyday neighbours. (World Values Survey, 2011) And they

Everyday people all around the world face injustice and inequality because their identities or beliefs are different from the rest. This unjust treatment towards a person or a group of people is called “discrimination”. LGBTQ persons are among the ones who happen to experience discrimination most of their daily lives. LGBTQ is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people. The main purpose of their community is to stand up for their rights and to establish a diversity of sexuality and gender. They are exposed to dicrimination so much that the negative attitudes towards them led to the coining of the term homophobia. The term homophobia was first used by George Weinberg in the 1960s. It is the combination of two morphemes, homo(sexual) and phobia, simply meaning intense disgust and fear of homosexuality. Unfortunately, homophobia is very common in Turkey and it is an obstacle needed to be overcome to achieve freedom and to facilitate interpersonal harmony.Homosexuality has been a legal act since the foundation of modern Turkey. It is not a problem to have sexual conduct with the mutual consent of the sides, and the age of consent is 18 for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. However same-sex marriage is not legal yet. In May 2012, a political party called BDP made a request to include same-sex marriage in the new constitution but it was rejected by the main party.According to a  Pew Research Center survey from 2013, 78% of Turkish people think society should not accept homosexuality. In addition to that, 84% of Turkish people do not want to live with LGBTQ neighbours. (World Values Survey, 2011) And they usually express it in a very clear way with either using physical violence or psychological abuse. Kemal Ördek case can be given as an example for both of these terms. Ördek, who is the director of Red Umbrella Organization Sexual Health and Human Rights, was a sex worker in 2015. Two men who pretented to be customers stole their phone, raped them and then demanded money. “When they realized I did not have cash on me, they took me out to withdraw money from the ATM”, Ördek said. They survived coincidentally by running into a police car. When they told the officers what happened, one of the attackers said: “Don’t even dare make a criminal complaint. I’ll chop off your head, we’ll kill you.” They kept insulting and threatening even in front of the police. When Ördek explained the situation to another police officer, they replied: “Enough with this Tribe of Lot!” This sentence explains Turkey’s perception of homosexuality in a nutshell. LGBTQ persons experience discrimination in any kind of situation. For example, a fitness center in Istanbul terminated one of their costumer’s membership. Ça?lar Hamza, who happens to be a trans man, was requested to either use the women locker room or end their membership. People cannot even stand seeing homosexual couples in a simple coffee shop. A twitter user announced that the manager of Espresso Lab in Ankara fired her and her girlfriend just because “they were acting unappropriately.” When they asked why there weren’t any warnings to heterosexual couples, the manager said it was none of their business.Let alone being subjected to discrimination, LGBTQ persons get killed everyday. According to the report of Transgender Europa on transgender murders, Türkiye is on the first rank in Europe and ninth in world. Between January 2008 and April 2016, 43 trangender was killed. Ahmet Y?ld?z, Ça?la Joker, Hande Kader, and so on, they all are victims of homophobia and they will always be remembered.It is true to say that LGBTQ is more common nowadays and they are more tolerated than the past. There are many communities and associations to help LGBTQ persons, there are gay parades, there are student clubs in many universities etc.However it doesn’t mean that they are treated as “normal”. Turkish people generally treat homosexuality as if it is something to be treated. Or as former state minister for family affairs Aliye Kavaf stated: “a biological disorder, an illness.”Turkey is a very conservative city with many hate crimes, assaults and murders. These crimes often comes from their own family members and go unpunished. Turkey needs to restore its justice system and provide protection for LGBTQ persons. If Turkish people stop marginalising them, Turkey will be one step closer to living at peace