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The Turkish army’s ‘show and tell’ policy

As the debate over "don’t ask, don’t tell" rages on in the United States, it seems Turkey is also facing its own domestic dilemma over military participation. While gays are barred from military service in Turkey, the armed forces allegedly are "asking for ‘photographic’ proof  that people seeking an exemption from compulsory military service on ...

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

As the debate over "don’t ask, don’t tell" rages on in the United States, it seems Turkey is also facing its own domestic dilemma over military participation.

While gays are barred from military service in Turkey, the armed forces allegedly are "asking for ‘photographic’ proof  that people seeking an exemption from compulsory military service on the grounds of their homosexuality are actually gay," Hurriyet reports.

The practice is not official, and the military has firmly denied the claims but there have been consistent accusations from Turks who were allegedly subject to the practice, and the 2009 European Union progress report also cited concerns over the issue.

Turkey’s dilemma is not so much "don’t ask, don’t tell," — it’s more over "show and tell."

As the debate over "don’t ask, don’t tell" rages on in the United States, it seems Turkey is also facing its own domestic dilemma over military participation.

While gays are barred from military service in Turkey, the armed forces allegedly are "asking for ‘photographic’ proof  that people seeking an exemption from compulsory military service on the grounds of their homosexuality are actually gay," Hurriyet reports.

The practice is not official, and the military has firmly denied the claims but there have been consistent accusations from Turks who were allegedly subject to the practice, and the 2009 European Union progress report also cited concerns over the issue.

Turkey’s dilemma is not so much "don’t ask, don’t tell," — it’s more over "show and tell."

Mohammad Sagha is an editoral researcher at Foreign Policy.

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