Turkey among worst countries in Europe for LGBTI rights - int’l group

Turkey, along with Azerbaijan and Armenia are the worst ranked countries in Europe for LGBTI rights, according to a news release by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (IGLA) on Monday. 

The association ranked a list of 49 nations based on legal and policy practices for LGBTI people, with Malta, Belgium and Luxembourg coming in at the top, ILGA-Europe said.

Turkey scored at 5 percent, just above Azerbaijan at 3 and below Armenia at 7 percent on the 2019 Rainbow Europe Map, where Malta received the highest score of 90 percent.

Overall, there is a worrying trend of countries are rolling back existing laws and policies whereby a visible decline has been determined for the first time in a decade, the group said.

Turkey is among the countries dropping points due to governmental failure to protect fundamental civil and political rights, the news release added.

Turkey's LGBTI community has long been subjected to state harassment and widespread discrimination. Turkish officials have described homosexuality as “a disease,” rejecting proposals for legal protections for LBGTI citizens. Prominent government officials frequently make homophobic comments.

In April, a Turkish court in Ankara lifted a governor-imposed 1.5 year ban on the LGBTI events in the capital.