LGBTI+ in Turkey

Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Plus Employees in Public and Private Sector

This is the 5th year for The Situation of LGBTI+ Employees in the Public Sector in Turkey Research conducted by Kaos GL Association. We, as Kadir Has University Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center are happy to have been a part of this research for the last 4 years.

The 2021 research consisted of an online survey conducted through SurveyMonkey Pro. Participants comprised 221 people who declared themselves to be LGBTI+ and who work in a public institution. Similar to previous years, our respondents were primarily young, highly educated (above high school) individuals who are in the workforce for a relatively short time with 78.2% are between 18-35 years of age, 87.8% have associate, undergraduate or graduate education and 60.2% work in their current workplace for less than 6 years. When we look at our participants, the majority work in the education, healthcare and academic sectors, similar to previous years. Their statements also suggest that our sample represent a wide range of professions. This year, just like last year, we asked the participants about the city they live in but we also included “I do not want to share” answer as an option in case people would like to keep this information private due to security issues. As a result, 37.6%, very close to last year’s 34.9% did not disclose their city. Between those who did declare however, 36,9% of the participants live in Istanbul, followed by Ankara (12,8%) and İzmir (9,9%). While three-fifths of our participants are from these 3 major cities, LGBTI+ employees from at least 28 different cities participated.

In 2021 46.6% of the participants declared their gender identity as man, trans man, or cis man and their sexual orientation as gay. This group is the largest one in the sample. In addition, similar to last year, the ratio of those who chose “other” for gender identity is roughly 8%. Compared to 2019 and previous years, also this year, more people defined themselves outside the gender binary system in terms of gender identity.

In 2021 only 5% of our participants declared they were completely disclosed in their workplaces in terms of gender identity, sexual orientation and sex characteristics. In our research on the private sector the same ratio was 17.2%. Last year the rates of being completely open were 3.4% and 14.8% respectively while in 2018, they were 7% and 22% and in 2019 4.4% and 17.4%. The fact that this rate is lower in the public sector every single year suggests that LGBTI+ employees in public sector have a higher risk to experience discrimination and hate speech compared to the private sector.