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Gay Turks are hoping Ankara’s bid to join the European Union will bolster their legal rights in a Muslim society where homosexuality is kept under tight wraps.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has its roots in political Islam, has passed a swathe of reforms aimed at meeting EU human rights criteria, but activists say it has side-stepped the touchy issue of gay rights.
«There’s no question the AKP doesn’t like gay people, but in the process of EU accession we know it will be forced to make a choice,» Ali Erol, a spokesman for the Ankara-based gay lobby group Kaos GL, told Reuters late on Tuesday.