London Tory MEP welcomes progress in North Cyprus gay ban repeal

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A Conservative MEP who has been campaigning for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the northern part of Cyprus has welcomed news that an amendment to repeal the ban has been approved by ministers.

Cyprus Today reports that the 13-page Penal Code (Amendment) Law will be sent to the North’s legislature where it would go before the legal and political affairs committee this week.

On a visit to the northern part of Cyprus in 2011, Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London received assurances from the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dr Derviş Eroğlu, that he was willing to sign a repeal of the ban on homosexuality into law.

Commenting on the news, she said: “I am pleased that the Turkish Cypriots are backing up their words with deeds, but I shall continue to put pressure on the North until Dr Eroğlu keeps his promise to me and puts his signature on a repeal of the law.

“The northern part of Cyprus is the last part of Europe where it is illegal to be gay. There have been too many miscarriages of justice and a hope that the members of the LGBT community in the North will soon be treated with respect they deserve.”