I fully agree with the need to change the outdated laws and ensuring LGBT rights in North Cyprus. It should be noted, however, that this law is a dusty piece of law that hasn't been implemented in so many years. I personally know many gays, who are leading homosexual life styles freely as well as someone who has recently gone through a gender change operation and is getting her new identity card with her new gender written on it.
So, yes, although Cyprus is in general a conservative place when it comes to homosexuality, there isn't much of a gay hatred going on in the north. South Cyprus decriminalized homosexuality in 1998, as part of the EU accession process. I agree with Yannakoudakis that implementing a gay-friendly culture matters much more than passing the legislation. Unfortunately, 2010 EU surveys showed that South Cyprus was still the most homophobic European country. On the Sarris case: Sarris is being sued for, allegedly, having paid money for sex with a minor. The case is more complicated than just "three adult gay men having sex". There are also two 13 and 14-year-old boys and money involved in the case. the court will clarify all claims in the end.
Being a big LGBT activist myself, I can't help think that Sarris should have been more intelligent about his affairs. He should have known that renting a house in the north where he could get a naked massage and having minors involved in any way would lead to something fishy. I sincerely hope that the alleged claims will be proven wrong, the children involved will be taken care of and Sarris' dignity will be restored.
ela - cyprus
While any civilised person would share the motivations of this article, there is an underlying assumption which simply is wrong: there is no legal "North Cyprus" regime. That territory is part of the Republic of Cyprus - and a member of the EU - and it is illegally occupied by the Turkish army. Dervis Eroglu is a puppet of the occupation forces. Therefore, what decides has absolutely no force except where the Turkish army holds illegal sway.
It is difficult to imagine how one can discuss the legalisation of rights of particular groups in a setting, where the foundations of what constitute law have been so violently overturned.
Yannakoudakis should work to mobilise all the EU states against the illegal occupation of the territory of one of its members by the Turkish army. Only then, can we be sure that the rule of law can be restored - as democratic states require. Anything less is acquiescing to tyrannical rule, and one that undermines foundational European values.
Aristide Caratzas - Athens, Greece
Remove isolation and suppression, and concentrate on modernising the north - instead, of dealing with survival problems against people who have abused and bullied these people since 1960 onwards. It is easy for the so-called "modern Europe" to assume the moral high ground, when it suits them, but it practices the worse crime of not allowing this community to join the rest of the world in cultural, political, sporting, entertainment activities - by bullying organisations to isolate and ban them at every whim. Let the north be free to implement changes to law and lifestyle, with help and respect - not suppression.There are two sides to every story.
Mick - Lancs, UK
In the south of Cyprus, homosexuality may no longer be criminal. However, Cypriot society is far from tolerant and openly gay men and women still face mobbing and harassment at their working place.
Nikos Psalidakis - Nicosia
I agree the law is outdated everyone has the right to live how they like, but you cannot force people to accept it or even like it - that is their right. I personally have no problems with anyone as long as it isn't hurting me, who am I to judge, right?
Why go into a country where you know it is still against the law when you know your own country has legalised being gay? I'm sorry, but this reeks of provocation and there is definitely something fishy is going on here.