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'They asked me if I liked football, whether I

wore women's clothes or used women's


perfume'
Ahmet, gay conscript in Turkey
Turkish gays face degrading tests to avoid
army
Mi li tary doctors pressured to di agnose sexual ori entati ons, BBC report says
CBC News
Posted: Mar 26, 2012 11:52 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2012 11:39 AM ET
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Gay men in Turkey seeking exemption from the country's mandatory military service must prove their
homosexuality, the BBC reports, even though many army physicians realize it's medically impossible to
determine sexual orientation.
The resulting process to obtain a so-called "pink certificate" allowing gays to dodge conscription and
potentially dangerous deployments to combat Kurdish separatists is often humiliating, the British public
broadcaster says in a documentary airing Tuesday.
It's common for gay men to submit
explicit photographs, undergo
personality tests and answer
questionnaires about their sexual
preferences.
Lacking any valid "diagnostic tools,"
a physician told the BBC World Service, potential gay draftees must prepare whatever evidence they can
to convince a military health panel of their homosexuality, sometimes deemed as a "psychosexual
disorder."
"They asked me if I liked football, whether I wore women's clothes or used women's perfume," said one
gay conscript in his 20s.
The man, using the name Ahmet to protect his true identity, said he refused requests to show a health
panel pictures of himself dressed as a woman. Instead, he offered army doctors a photo of him kissing
another man.
'Face must be visible' in explicit pictures
Gokhan, also conscripted in the 1990s and using a different name, said he submitted a photo of himself
having sex with a male partner. He said he had heard it was otherwise impossible to obtain a pink
certificate.
''The face must be visible,'' Gokhan said, adding he worries about the possibility they could be made
public. ''And the photos must show you as the passive partner.''
Gay-rights activists participate in the 2007 Gay Pride
Parade in Istanbul, Turkey. (Murad Sezer/Associated Press)
Turkish gays face degrading tests to avoid army - World - CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/03/26/turkey-gays-army.html
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One former army psychiatrist said doctors feel pressure from military commanders to diagnose
homosexuality, "even though there really are no diagnostic tools to determine sexual orientation."
''It is medically impossible, and not at all ethical," he added.
There are no laws explicitly banning homosexuality in Turkey and thousands marched in the 2011 gay
pride parade in Istanbul. Still, homosexuality is not widely tolerated and gays can still face discrimination
by employers and co-workers.
Gays are considered unfit for military service as they can cause "disciplinary problems" and would require
separate lodgings and washrooms, a retired commander, Armagan Kuloglu, reasoned. But homosexuals
can serve as long as they keep their sexual orientations secret, he said, drawing parallels to the U.S. "Don't
ask, don't tell" policy repealed last October by the Obama administration.
Homosexuals have been permitted to serve openly in the Canadian military since 1992.
Although homosexuality is not widely tolerated in Turkey due to social stigma, the possibility that straight
men might feign being gay to avoid military service is a concern for the army, according to the BBC
report. The news service said some Turks have expressed resentment that others have an acceptable
reason to be barred from dangerous deployment or combat with Kurdish rebels.
Turkish gays face degrading tests to avoid army - World - CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/03/26/turkey-gays-army.html
2 de 2 13/04/2012 19:07