Erman Dolmacı, coordinator of Queer Cyprus Association and post-graduate student at The Cyprus Institute explains how the E.U. supports LGBTI+ people in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
“Starting from the beginning of our movement, when homosexuality was criminalised, there was lots of backlash from people who were against to the laws being changed, saying that we would spread homosexuality everywhere. But the E.U. intervened by sending letters and saying that these are human rights and helped us change the law,” Erman says. In 2014, the north of Cyprus became the last European territory to decriminalise sexual relations between men.With E.U. funds, Queer Cyprus Association is able, among others, to organise campaigns to raise awareness and offer social, legal and psychological counselling to people who face discrimination and bullying. Queer Cyprus’ Association new project, named “Diversity of Colours,” started in 2018 and is funded by the E.U. According to Erman, it will last until 2021 and aims to further increase public awareness for LGBTI+ issues and to push for legislative changes. About Queer Cyprus Association: Queer Cyprus Association is a civil society movement that works to combat discrimination based on gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and gender identity. Queer Cyprus is an organization that works in various fields such as law, education, psychology, health for the access of LGBTI+’s to human rights in cooperation with local and international organizations.
EU Cohesion is funded by the European Parliament.+
Εdited by Bouli Hadjioannou