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Feb 09 2019

The common 'enemies' in Turkey: Kurds, LGBTIs and migrants - watchdog

Turkey's Association for Monitoring Equal Rights (AMER), a rights and freedoms watchdog, on Friday released its report on the perception of discrimination in the country. 

The report shows that those groups suffering from different types of discrimination have met on common ground when it comes to the perception of discrimination against migrants, Kurds and LGBTIs.

The watchdog prepared its report based on their interviews with 1,064 people from 26 cities. 

25.28 percent of the participants think that there is discrimination based on ethnicity in Turkey, while 49.14 percent of them say no one or almost no one is discriminated in Turkey due to their ethnic background. 

Some scholars say such discrimination is predominantly towards non-Turkish ethnic minorities such as Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews, Yazidis, Zazas, and especially Kurds, related to country's long-lasting Kurdish question. 

About discrimination against migrants, 36.28 percent of the participants say migrants are frequently discriminated. According to 35.52 percent of the attendees, there is no discrimination against refugees and migrants.

The report shows that while 45.86 percent of the participants believe that LGBTIs are never or almost never subjected to discrimination, 36.28 percent of them say that those individuals are frequently discriminated.

However, when asked about whether they would rent their houses to LGBTIs and migrants, even the participants who acknowledge the discrimination of them tend to say "no". 

As a reason for their unwillingness, some participants answered, "they would damage the house" and "we wouldn't know who enters or leaves the neighbourhood."

23.1 percent of the participants think that discrimination is widespread in Turkey while 30.3 percent of them say there is no or almost no discrimination in the country, according to data released by AMER.

The report also points out that the perception of discrimination changes depending on the income level or educational background. While the discrimination perception of high-income groups is weaker than expected, that of lower income groups exceeds the expectations.