Halil Ibrahim Dinçdağ, Turkey’s first openly gay football referee, who was sacked wins lawsuit against football federation.
In May 2009, football referee Halil Dinçdag, who lived in Trabzon, got sacked by the Turkish football association for being homosexual. Halil Ibrahim Dincdag was excused from his compulsory military service when he was listed as homosexual in a medical report ( Turkish military sees homosexuality as a “psychosexual disorder” ) . Gays are barred from serving the Turkish military. Anyone who can’t perform their military service for medical reasons is not allowed to be a referee.
The Turkish football feredration therefore refused to renew Halil’s license.
Stories began appearing about his alleged homosexuality after Halil wrote a letter to the Turkish football association to question his dismissal. Halil Dinçdag decided to fight back and to blow the whistle on the discrimination of gays. He made his appearance in a famous sports programme on KanalTurk, a national television channel.
During this interview Halil said; “Yes, I am homosexual and I will fight this discrimination. Please stand tall against unfairness against you, say it is wrong. I will fight my dismissal. I will take this matter to the courts, the European court of human rights if necessary”.
Halil Dinçdag filed a complaint against the Turkish football federation on the grounds that homosexuality is not considered a “disease” by the Constitution and therefore he could not be discriminated against based on that.
Today, an Istanbul court decided on Tuesday that the TTF would pay TL 3,000 ($1,031) and TL 20,000 for material and moral indemnities respectively. Dinçdağ’s lawyer Fırat Söyle told reporters that he and his client were happy for “justice has been served”, but that they would appeal the awarded amount since they had asked for TL 110,000 compensation in total.
“December 29, 2015 (Tuesday) is a victory in the struggle against homophobia in football and LGBT movement in Turkey,” he said.