The bill, titled the Draft Law on Fighting Discrimination and on the Institution of Equality, was recently submitted to Parliament for consideration. The bill includes provisions to increase the standards of democracy in the country and introduce protection from discrimination for individuals. A number of civil society groups that work together under the umbrella organization the Joint Parliamentary Work Groups are now planning to discuss the provisions of the bill in detail at meetings to be held in Ankara, Diyarbakir and İstanbul.
Musician Şanar Yurdatapan, a spokesperson for the civil society groups working together on the bill, said: “We are seeing a positive bill this time. So we will be working to pass it as is and attempt to ensure it does not get changed, as opposed to our usual routine of trying to make changes and improve laws in this area.”
A subcommittee is now deliberating on the 21-article bill, which will ensure non-discrimination on the basis of gender, race, language, religion, belief, ethnic background or political ideology.
The civil society organizations that want to get involved before the bill is passed will first meet in Diyarbakir and Ankara on Jan. 14 and again the next day in İstanbul. The results of these meetings will be shared with Parliament.
In addition to musician Yurdatapan, a large number of bar associations, rights groups, women’s and children’s organizations, unions, and associations for the disabled and minorities are interested in the fate of the bill.
Çağlar Çabuk from the Joint Parliamentary Work Groups participated in the subcommittee’s session, Yurdatapan said, adding: “We started working on this six months ago. We want to contribute as much as we can. The best thing to do is to get involved at the initial phase of the preparation of the bill.”