Turkish man sacked for gay relationship wins legal battle

A Turkish rubbish truck driver has won his job back in a court case after an Istanbul municipality sacked him for being gay, Turkish liberal news site Bianet reported on Wednesday.

The driver was one of three workers fired by the Kağıthane municipality without compensation. The municipality’s reasoning for firing the three last April was that they had been in homosexual relationships, and this broke the rules in their contracts regarding “morals and good faith”.

Kağıthane mayor Fazlı Kılıç told pro-government news outlet HaberTürk last June that the men’s relationships took place outside working time and so had “nothing to do with the municipality”. Nevertheless, Kılıç said, supervisors had acted correctly by firing them.

But an Istanbul court ruled against the municipality on Wednesday morning. The ruling requires the municipality to reinstate the driver’s contract. The case of another of the men fired is still ongoing.

A lawyer representing the municipality demanded the court reverse its decision, since he said the municipality had acted within its rights.

A study by LGBTI news portal and Istanbul’s Kadir Has University found that more than half of LGBTI people in Turkey concealed their sexual orientation to avoid discrimination.