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Last week European Parliament member Michael Cashman met with political leaders and NGO’s to discuss the repeal of homosexuality as an offense. North Cyprus is the only area in which homosexuality is considered a crime.

Michael Cashman met with parliament members, political party leaders, Chairperson of Parliament Hasan Bozer, Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk and President Dervis Eroglu during his Cyprus visit which took place on 12-13 April.

The meeting focused on extensively evaluating local laws which also include the 5 year prison sentence for homosexuality. The arrests of the past few months encouraged the visit.

During the meeting all parties agreed that, homosexuality should be removed from being categorized as a criminal offense, legal age for both homosexual and heterosexual couples should be the same, and the definition of rape should be stated in a more clear manner.

A live TV program on homosexuality was broadcasted on a local channel Kanal Sim.

Reşat Şaban from Queer Cyprus Association stated “With Michael Cashman’s Cyprus visit, political leaders had the opportunity to closely observe our association’s struggle for equal rights. Undoubtedly, we believe the removal of homosexuality from being an offense, making legal age equal, and legally protecting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer individuals should be done immediately”.

European Parliament LGBT Right Intergroup Co-President Michael Cashman concluded by stating “As all parties have agreed on the local laws must be updated urgently. Now, the Parliament must fulfill its responsibilities and regulate the penal code in accordance with Europe’s binding standards”.

Michael Cashman defends the law change in the northern part of Cyprus