Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) individuals constitute a large group of minority groups in Turkey. Because of the scarcity of non-existent systematic reviews on the sexual orientation discrimination of LGBTIQ individuals in Turkey, the present study aims to outline the major discriminatory practices against these individuals and fills the gap through a systematic literature review based on rigorous criteria. The present paper examines 21 selected papers, explores key emerging themes and recent developments to identify research gaps, and provides areas for future research. Therefore, “discrimination in employment and at the workplace,” “discrimination in health,” “discrimination in public service,” and “discrimination by the government” were identified as the major themes of the current review. Through these themes, it was further revealed that the key pillars of LGBT discrimination in Turkey rest on the legal frameworks, social institutions, and norms. The best ways to eradicate LGBT discrimination in Turkey rest on modifying, changing, or creating LGBT inclusive/supportive policies within these pillars.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Akpinar, O. (2015). Kılıçdaroğlu’ndan eşcinsel evlilik yorumu: Herkesin hayatına kimse karışamaz, Retrieved from: http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=19175.
American Psychological Assn, (2015). Avoiding Heterosexual Bias in Language. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/ss/ss6509a1.htm.
American Psychological Assn, Washington (2019). Understanding bisexuality. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/bisexual.
Amnesty International. (2011). Not an illness nor a crime: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people demand equality. London: Amnesty International Ltd..
Annual Review of the Human rights situation of Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex people 2019 Association (ILGA) in Europe (2019) ILGA Europe, Retrieved at https://www.ilga-europe.org/sites/default/files/2019/full_annual_review.pdf.
Bendix, T. (2015). Why don’t lesbians have a pride flag of our own?. Retrieved from https://www.afterellen.com/people/452039-dont-lesbians-pride-flag.
Bilginsoy, Z. (2015). SEvaluating hate murders based on SOGI in TURKEY: Shortcomings and proposals, Outright action international. Retrieved from https://outrightinternational.org/content/evaluating-hate-murders-based-sogi-turkey-shortcomings-and-proposals.
Butturini, T. (2017). Where are you, my love? The difficulties of being LGBT in Istanbul. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/photography/where-are-you-my-love-lgbt-community-istanbul-a7803451.html.
Cafferata, R., Abatecola, G., & Poggesi, S. (2009). Revisiting Stinchcombe’s ‘liability of newness’: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Globalization and Small Business, 3(4), 374–392.
Çayır, K., & Ceyhan, M. A. (2012). Discrimination: Multi-dimensional approaches. İstanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Publishing.
Crossan, M. M., & Apaydin, M. (2010). A multi-dimensional framework of organizational innovation: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Management Studies, 47(6), 1154–1191.
Cunningham, E. (2016). In Turkey, it is not a crime to be gay, but LGBT activists see a rising threat. The Washington Post.
Day, N. E., & Greene, P. G. (2008). A case for sexual orientation diversity management in small and large organizations. Human Resource Management, 47(3), 637–654.
DePaulo, B. (2011). Asexuals: Who are they and why are they important? Psychology today, Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-single/200912/asexuals-who-are-they-and-why-are-they-important.
Dogan, M. (2015) On IDAHOT, LGBTI individuals face countless problems in Turkey. Retrieved from http://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/05/15/on-idahot-lgbtis-face-countless-problemsin-turkey/.
Duanaiko, A. (2017). Gender identity in the digital era: The rise of the transtrender, Central for digital society, Retrieved from http://cfds.fisipol.ugm.ac.id/article/108/gender-identity-in-the-digital-era-the-rise-of-the-transtrender.
Durso, E.L., McBride, S. & Rooney, C. (2015). LGBT inclusion in sports: Beliefs about the role of professional sports in public life. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbtq-rights/reports/2015/12/18/127779/lgbt-inclusion-in-sports/.
DW.org (2019) Istanbul police use tear gas to disperse gay pride march. Retrieved from https://www.dw.com/en/istanbul-police-use-tear-gas-to-disperse-gay-pride-march/a-49421078
Engin, C. (2015). LGBT in Turkey: Policies and experiences. Social Sciences, 4, 838–858.
Ensonhaber (2011). Türk Halkını Tanıyalım Anketi: Dünya Değerler Araştırması. Retrieved from https://www.ensonhaber.com/amp/yasam/turk-halkini-taniyalim-anketi-2011-07-21.
Evening Standard (2017). Lesbian couple jailed in Turkey after being ‘tricked’ into leaving London hit out at ‘inhumane’ ordeal. Evening Standard, Retrieved from https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/lesbian-couple-jailed-in-turkey-after-being-tricked-into-leaving-london-hit-out-at-inhumane-ordeal-a3530076.html.
Fishman, L. (2017). Are official bans and slurs the start of full-on persecution for Turkey’s LGBT community?. Retrieved from https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/is-turkey-s-lgbt-community-under-threat-1.5627361.
Forstenlechner, I., Lettice, F., & Ozbilgin, M. F. (2012). Questioning quotas: Applying a relational framework for diversity management practices in the United Arab Emirates. Human Resource Management Journal, 22(3), 299–315.
Gander, K. (2017). Muslims, Jews, and Christians on being LGBT and believing in god. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/lgbt-muslims-christians-jews-stonewall-beliefs-god-faith-role-models-lifestyle-gay-lesbians-trans-a7666846.html.
Gerhards, J. ( 2007). Cultural Overstretch? The Enlargement of the European Union and the Cultural Differences between Old and New Member States and Turkey . London and New York: Routledge
Grungras, N., Levitan, R., & Slotek, A. (2009). Unsafe haven: Security challenges facing LGBT asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey. The Fletcher Journal of Human Security, 24, 41–61.
Hemmings, S. (1988). Radical records: 30 years of lesbian and gay history. London: Routledge.
Henrici, R. (2007). Homophobia: Does it affect the quality of care? The Journal of Undergraduate Nursing Writing, 1(1), 50–62.
Human Rights Watch (2008). We Need a Law for Liberation’: Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights in a Changing Turkey. Retrieved from: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/turkey0508_1.pdf
Hurriyet Daily News (2019) Turkey 2nd most restrictive country on gay rights in Europe. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20171024154055/http:/www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/11/turkey-military-gay-rights-homosexual-picture.html.
ILGA Europe (2019). Annual review of the human rights situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people. Brussels, ISBN 978-92-95066-11-3.
Ince Yenilmez, M. (2017). Socio-political attitude towards lesbians in Turkey. Sexuality & Culture, 21, 287–299.
İnceoğlu, Y. (2010). Ulusal basında nefret suçları: 10 Yıl, 10 Örnek. Istanbul: Sosyal Değişim Derneği.
Insan Kaynagini Gelistirme Vakfi (2011). Seks Iscileri ve Yasalar: Turkiye’de Yasalarin Seks Iscilerine Etkileri ve Oneriler. Retrieved from http://amargigroupistanbul.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/text1.pdf.
Irwin, L. (2007). Homophobia and heterosexism: Implications for nursing and nursing practice. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25(1), 70–76.
Ivan, K. (2015) World GDP ranking 2015. Retrieved from https://knoema.com/nwnfkne/world-gdp-ranking-2019-gdp-by-country-data-and-charts.
Javaid, R., & Eleni, P. (2013). Is green a part of the rainbow? Sharia, homosexuality, and LGBT rights in the Muslim world. Fordham International Law Journal, 30(1).
Jenner, C.O. (2010). Transsexual primary care. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 22(8), 403–408
Kann, L., Olsen, E. O., McManus, T., et al. (2016). Sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, and health-related behaviors among students in grades 9-12 - the United States and selected sites, 2015. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 65(9), 1–202.
Kaos, G. L. (2005). Lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) right in Turkey: An overview of issues. Ankara: Kaos GL.
Kaos, G. L. (2009). Report on LGBT employees: Problems encountered by lesbian, gay and bisexual employees in work-life- accounts. Ankara: Kaos GL.
Kaos, G.L, (2011). LGBT organizations demand the resignation of interior minister. Retrieved from: http://kaosgl.org/page.php?id=10241.
Kaos GL (2014). Demirtaş: LGBTİ’lerin Varoluşu Suç Görülüyor, Retrieved from: http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17094.
King, E. B., & Cortina, J. (2010). The social and economic imperative of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered supportive organizational policies. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 3, 69–78.
KONDA Research and Consultancy. (2007). Religion, Secularism and the veil in daily life. Retrieved from: https://konda.com.tr/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2007_09_KONDA_Religion_Secularism_and_the_Veil_in_Daily_Life_Survey.pdf
Kuzulugil, Ş. (2010). A classification of Turkish cultural value. Paper presented at the International Conference on Social Sciences, İzmir, Turkey.
Lim, F., & Levitt, N. (2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 111(11), 11.
Metin, G. (2015) Gays seeking a military exemption in Turkey no longer need to provide visual proof of their homosexuality Retrieved from https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/11/turkey-military-gay-rights-homosexual-picture.html.
Oktem, P., & Ayca, G. B. (2014). Homosexuality in Turkey: Strategies for managing heterosexism. Journal of Homosexuality, 61(6).
Owen, B. (1996). Turkey turns on its decadent past, The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/world/europe/turkey/guardian.htm
Oz, Y. (2011). Study on homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Sociological Report: Turkey, the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/09000016809cbeb0.
Ozeren, E. (2014). Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace: A systematic review of literature. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, 1203–1215.
Ozturk, M. B. (2011). Sexual orientation discrimination: Exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees in Turkey. Human Relations, 64(2011), 1099–1118.
Oztürk, MB. and Ozbilgin, M. (2014). From cradle to grave: The lifecycle of compulsory heterosexuality in Turkey. In Sexual Orientation at Work: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 152–165
Pettinato, M. (2012). Providing care for LGBTI patients. Nursing, 42(12), 22–27.
Pew Research Center. (2013). The global divide on homosexuality. Retrieved from http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/
Phillip, A., & David, P. (2014). LGBT activism and the making of Europe: A rainbow Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, 137–138.
Pope, N. & Pope, H. (1997). New York: The Overlook Press.
Roberts, R.K., Swanson, N.G. and Murphy, L.R. (2004). Discrimination and occupational mental health. Journal of Mental Health 13, 129–142
Rospenda, K. M., Richman, J. A., & Shannon, C. A. (2009). Race, racial discrimination, and the risk of work-related illness, injury or assault: Findings from a National Study. Journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 51(4), 441–448.
Selek, P. (2007). Maskeler, Suvariler, Gacilar. Istanbul: Istiklal Kitabevi.
Siddharta, A. (2019). Trans women march for their rights in conservative Indonesia. Retrieved from https://www.voanews.com/a/trans-women-march-for-their-rights-in-conservative-indonesia/4894550.html.
Süral, N. (2009). Anti-discrimination rules and policies in Turkey. Comparative Labor Law and Policy, 30, 245–272.
Syed, J., & Özbilgin, M. (2009). A relational framework for international transfer of diversity management practices. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(12), 2435–2453.
Tahaoğlu, Ç. (2011). LGBTT Onur Haftası, Onur Yürüyüşü ile Sona Erdi. Retrieved from https://m.bianet.org/bianet/toplumsal-cinsiyet/131035-19-lgbtt-onur-haftasi-onur-yuruyusu-ile-sona-erdi.
Tehmina K. (2011). The Ottoman Empire’s secular history undermines sharia claims, The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/oct/07/ottoman-empire-secular-history-sharia.
Tranfield, D., Denyer, D., & Smart, P. (2003). Towards a methodology for developing evidence: Informed management knowledge by means of systematic review. British Journal of Management, 14, 207–222.
Tripathi, S., Radcliffe, C. & Houdart, F. (2017). Tackling discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans, & intersex people: Standards of conduct for business, UN human rights. Retrieved from https://www.unfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/UN-Standards-of-Conduct.pdf.
Takács, J. (2006). Social exclusion of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Europe, ILGA-Europe and IGLYO, UN: Brussels
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, (2015) Free and equal campaign fact sheet: Intersex Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20160304071043/https:/unfe.org/system/unfe-65-Intersex_Factsheet_ENGLISH.pdf.
Uysal, T. A. (2018). Health care utilization, barriers to care among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Turkey. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 1204.
Volkan, Y., & Ipek, G. (2016). Exploring perceived discrimination among LGBT individuals in Turkey in education, employment, and health care: Results of an online survey. Journal of Homosexuality, 64(8), 1052–1068.
Weise, Z. (2015). Turkey’s LGBT community is fighting for acceptance through the ballot box. Retrieved from https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-05/turkeys-lgbt-community-fighting-acceptance-through-ballot-box.
Yılmaz, V. (2012). Lgbt meselesinde siyasi tehditler ve olanaklar, Bianet, Retrieved from http://bianet.org/biamag/diger/139812-lgbt-meselesinde-siyasi-tehditler-ve-olanaklar.
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Ince Yenilmez, M. LGBTQIs in Turkey: the Challenges and Resilience of This Marginalized Group. Sex Res Soc Policy (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-020-00471-9
- LGBTQI discrimination
- LGBTQI rights
- LGBT issues
- Health care