Turkey gets first out gay general election candidate

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For the first time in Turkey, an out gay candidate is running in the country’s general election.

37-year-old Baris Sulu is believed to be the first ever out candidate to stand for election in Turkey.

He is standing for the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), in the north-western Eskisehir district.

Mr Sulu hopes to use his position to promote LGBT rights if elected on 7 June, and has campaign for gay rights in the country for almost two decades.

His party is liberal, left wing, pro-Kurdish and currently holds 29 of 550 seats in the Turkish Parliament.

Speaking to the Anadolu news agency, he said: “I am not a secret gay. I have got the biggest support from my family and boyfriend and my friends in the party have given me their opinions.”

“My interest in politics started when I decided to fight,” Mr Sulu added.

“The elections in four years will be utterly different. In the next elections, not just gay candidates will run but also lesbian or transgender candidates,” he went on.

While homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, the rights of LGBT people are not protected under the law.

Two trans women Deva Ozenen of the Anatolla Party are also standing in Istanbul.