Turkish court reinstates transgender doctor fired for ‘corrupting public morals’

Doctor Larin Kayataş

A Turkish court has reinstated transexual doctor Larin Kayataş, who was fired from a state hospital by the Turkish Health Ministry in 2021 for “corrupting public morals,” Turkish Minute reported, citing the physician’s message on Twitter.

A month after a colleague filed a complaint with the Presidency Communications Center (CİMER) about Kayataş’s appearance, only a day after she started her job in 2020, she was suspended for three months and a few months later was fired.

The local health authorities in İstanbul conducted an investigation while she was suspended, during which she was asked questions about her political leanings, her attendance at a March 8 Women’s Day demonstration and her sexual identity.

The ministry fired her in September 2021, saying her social media posts were corrupting people’s morals.

Upon this decision, Kayataş initiated a legal battle to resume the practice of medicine by filing a reinstatement lawsuit.

Kayataş announced on Twitter on Thursday that the higher court ruled that her dismissal was “unlawful” and ordered her reinstatement. The court also ruled that 20 months of salary plus interest be paid to Kayataş.

It is common for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other politicians from the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to attack LGBTI+ individuals and accuse them of perversion and ruining family values.

Turkey was ranked 48th among 49 countries as regards the human rights of LGBT people, according to the 2023 Rainbow Europe Map published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)-Europe.

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