Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag of Turkey announced that plans he to build a separate prison for LGBT prisoners to “protect convicts” with different “sexual orientations.”
“Convicts who stated that they are gay will not mix with other convicts in the communal area or during social activities in the new prison facilities,” Bozdag said.
Apparently, many prisoners who are gay are generally segregated from their heterosexual inmates anyway, now they will be completely separated.
There will also be “pink wards,” for transgender inmates.
According to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) these measures are “to ensure the safety of LGBT people behind bars.”
Though same-sex relationships aren’t illegal in Turkey like many Muslim countries, traditional Islamic values still sway many decisions.
“This is a medieval-age practice,” Murat Koylu, spokesman for the Ankara-based gay rights group, Kos GL, said. “Instead of creating public areas where people from all sexual orientations can live together, the government has once again chosen to ostracize homosexuals.
Koylu believes this process will lead to gay profiling.
Currently, the ministry has counted 79 LGBT prisoners in Turkey, but many inmates hide their homosexuality so the number is thought to be much higher.
Turkey isn’t the only country with a separate area of LGBT inmates. Italy opened a prison for transgender offenders in 2010.