— Baris Sulu, Turkey’s first-ever openly gay candidate for the Grand National Assembly elections on June 7, in an interview with The Independent. Sulu is running as a left-leaning and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party candidate in Eskisehir Province. A longtime LGBT activist, he’s campaigning on a platform that includes promoting LGBT and minority rights. “My interest in politics started when I decided to fight,” he says.
Two other LGBT candidates, both transgender women, are also running for seats in the Assembly. Deva Ozenen is running for the left-leaning Turkish nationalist Anatolia Party in Izmir Province, and Niler Albayrak is running for the left-leaning Republican People’s Party in Istanbul.
The Turkish government is currently controlled by the right-leaning Justice and Development Party. There are currently no legal protections for LGBT people in Turkey.
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