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Mar 18 2019

Turkish police officer suspended for being gay - DW

A Turkish police officer in the eastern city of Van has been suspended from duty because he is gay, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on Sunday.

It all started in late 2017, when 34-year-old Metin, who has served in the police for over 10 years, was imprisoned for eight days last year for sexual violence as a result of statements made by his partner while under interrogation.

Metin and his partner were drinking tea in the police canteen when his partner was taken away for questioning. The partner panicked and said that he was a police officer, which led to imprisonment for impersonating an officer and further questioning, according to DW.

"According to the interrogation transcript, he then told the officers that Metin had forced him to have sex with him, and that he wished to press charges. Metin was subsequently arrested for having perpetrated an act of ‘sexual violence’ against his partner," the website said.

Due to a lack of evidence, Metin was not indicted. He was put on leave, then re-assigned to the northern city of Zonguldak.

But in 2018, a disciplinary committee ruled to suspend him from duty, justifying that "a civil servant can be suspended if he or she is in an unnatural relationship with another person", defining a same-sex relationship as unnatural.

Turkey's LGBT community has long been subjected to state harassment and widespread discrimination. Turkish officials have described homosexuality as “a disease” and rejected proposals for legal protections for LBGT citizens. Homophobic comments from prominent government officials are rather frequent.