BBC documentary questions Turkish Army’s take on gays


‘Is it possible to prove one’s sexual orientation? And is it compatible with professional ethics for a military doctor to ‘diagnose’ someone as homosexual?’ asks Emre Azizlerli, producer and narrator of the BBC World Service’ documentary.

“Young men are being seen off by their families to go and start their military service, which is compulsory for men in Turkey and is not taken lightly.” So begins “The Pink Certificate,” the BBC World Service’s recent hit radio documentary, which dissects the controversial procedures used to “diagnose” the homosexuality of gay potential conscripts and exempt them from Turkish military service: sending them home, instead, with the pink certificate,  The Hurriyet Daily News reports.

- Advertisement -

The Turkish Army refused to grant interviews or comments for the documentary, but the documentary also includes an interview with a retired general, as well as a psychiatrist who served in the army and whose duties included diagnosing homosexuality, now considered an outdated practice.