Turkish Court Rules Gay Sex Is Natural
An Istanbul court ruled on Monday that consensual sex between two men is natural. The landmark ruling contradicts rulings made in the past by the country's Supreme Court, Gay Star News reports.
The ruling involved a merchant who was caught selling 125 DVDs of gay porn. The trader's personal information has not been published but his initials are D.M. D.M. faced up to four years in prison as Turkey's penal code outlaws citizens from owning, selling, distributing and publishing "unnatural sex" videos.
In a surprise ruling, however, Jude Manmut Erdemli said that sexual orientation cannot be considered unnatural and it should be respected. The ruling goes against the country's Supreme Court, which has ruled that gay sex is unnatural, along with beastality, in past cases.
What is more remarkable, the judge pointed to the legality of gay marriages in the United States and in Europe. "Today, it is possible to have gay marriages in modern countries," he said in his ruling.
"International regulations prohibit discrimination regarding peoples' sexual preference, and it is therefore an obligation to respect their sexual orientation," Erdemli said. "In this respect, most of the European countries see gay relationships as equivalent to marriage. Contemporary societies allow [gay relationships] to achieve this legal status and therefore the contents of the DVDs can not be seen as unnatural."
Although the court ruled that D.M. was not guilty of selling unnatural porn, he was found guilty of "the unauthorized selling of porn" and received eight months in prison. Turkey's criminal division of the Supreme Court slammed the lower court's ruling and said same gay sex and group sex are unnatural and the court was wrong to sentence the trader for just eight months, instead of four years.
LGBT rights have not progressed much in the Eurasian country as gay marriage is not recognized or any form of same-sex relationships. Additionally, sexual orientation and gender identity are not part of Turkey's civil rights laws but transgender individuals are allowed to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
Modern Turkey was founded on the ruins of the long-tottering Ottoman Empire after the First World War as a progressive, adamantly secular nation. Although the nation is almost entirely Muslim, it has traditionally protected other religions.
Istanbul remains as the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and it is the only remaining Muslim Middle Eastern nation where a small Jewish minority remains at all, let alone thrives. Turkey has, until recently, been especially notable as an ally of Israel.
In recent years, the ascendency of an Islamic political party has leaned the nation more toward the Sharia law of its neighbor Iran. Even so, the nation, which spans Europe and Asia, has long sought entry to the European Union.
Thus, the ruling by the judge can be viewed in geopolitical terms as another subtle bow Turkey is making toward entry in the EU, which has mandated that any nation wishing to join the economic union must demonstrate its bona fides as regards to its LGBT citizens.