Dec 14 2018

Turkish LGBTIs forced to hide their identities to find employment

In a recent survey on discrimination in the labour market, 58 percent of LGBTI in Turkey said they had to hide their identities to find jobs in the private sector, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Friday.

The survey “LGBT+ in Employment” was conducted in cooperation by LGBTI rights organisation Kaos GL and Kadir Has University with 198 people working in private sector jobs and 89 people employed in the public sector.

The survey results show that, LGBTI persons have been taking personal measures to protect themselves during the job search, as they think that they will face discrimination.

“Being forced to act cautiously on a continuous basis turns into a long-term form of discrimination in itself and creates severe psychological effects on LGBTI employees,” the report says.

Among 198 people working in the private sector, only 32 said they did not hide their identities during job applications and interviews.

“I could not be open. Because I would not get the job. This is a small city, the employees are relatively conservative ones,” a gay participant said.

In Turkey, gay men can be exempt from obligatory military service, if they provide documentation and medical examination proving their homosexuality.

“During job interview, they asked me why I was exempt from military service. I told the truth. ‘Immediately leave here,’ the woman interviewing me said,” another gay man working in the tech sector said.

Forty-three percent of those working in the public sector said they hid their identities during job applications, while 36 percent said they were forced to hide their identities in their workplaces.

The survey results demonstrated that the emergency rule declared in Turkey following a coup attempt in 2016 and lifted in June this year also deepened the problems LGBTI people are facing in employment. Thirty-six percent of those working in the public sector said working conditions had worsened during the emergency rule.