Turkish Cypriot leader keeps promise to Conservative MEP to repeal gay ban and protect children
On 20 October London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis met with Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Derviş Eroğlu where she condemned the ban on homosexuality in the northern part of Cyprus - that last part of Europe where it is illegal to be gay. On that occasion Marina received assurances from Dr. Eroğlu that he would sign a repeal of the ban into law.
Marina has kept the pressure on Dr. Eroğlu to keep his promise as well as to ensure that any new law includes a provision to protect children from sexual abuse.
In a letter received from Dr. Eroğlu today, the Turkish Cypriot leader informed Marina that The draft proposal for the repeal of the part of the Criminal Code, Chapter 154, which penalizes same sex sexual activity has been submitted to the general Assembly on 25 October 2011 by a political party, the Communal Democracy Party. This draft legislation states that not only girls and women but also boys and men can be victims of rape and sexual abuse.
Dr. Eroğlu pledged to support the repeal, saying We gave our considered opinion to the Government that the draft proposal concerned should be adopted and section 171 should be abolished without delay.
Marina said: I am pleased that Dr. Eroğlu has honoured the promise he made to me in October. There have been a number of concerns about human rights in the northern part of Cyprus. By agreeing to decriminalise homosexuality Dr. Eroğlu is taking concrete measures to ensure those living in the north part of Cyprus may enjoy the same human rights as their fellow Europeans.
I am also pleased that new legislation will protect children, especially boys, from sexual abuse. The anti-gay law had left an enormous hole in the justice system allowing children to go unprotected from rape and abuse.
Marina is a member of the European Parliaments High-Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community.