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Turkish Court Not to Hear Case to Closedown Gay Group



Prosecutor Decides Not to Proceed With Case

Updated at 22.30 (UK) on
October 12 with statement
from Scott Long of Human
Rights Watch







ANKARA, October 12  –  Gays in Turkey have today claimed a victory in their bid to save the closure of Kaos, the gay and lesbian human rights group.

Last month, the deputy governor of Ankara, Selahattin Ekremoglu, applied to the courts to shut down Kaos, citing that the organisation was operating “against the laws and morality rules”.

The group, which was founded 11 years ago, had applied for non-government organisation (NGO) status with the Ministry of the Interior in July.

“We will not be closed down,” Kaos said in a statement released today. 

The group said that the office of the prosecutor had informed them of the decision not to proceed with the case.

“This is a big step forward for homosexuals in achieving the equality and justice they deserve and in abolishing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in all fields of social life,” the statement said.

When news of Ekremoglu’s remarks emerged three weeks ago and became known outside Turkey, the prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, received representations from many international human rights groups, including ILGA-Europe and Human Rights Watch.

Turkey has already pledged to improve it human rights – it has signed up to many international agreements.  And with negotiations just started with the European Union for accession in the next decade, gay and other human rights issues will be closely scrutinised by Brussels and the European Parliament.

According to Swiss Radio International, the Ankara prosecutor, Kursat Kayral, said in his ruling that the American Psychiatric Association did not rate homosexuality as a disorder and the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ were widely used in daily life and scientific research.

“We’re obviously delighted that the prosecutor’s office has recognized Turkey’s obligations not only as a country that claims respect for basic human rights principles, but as an applicant for EU entry” commented Scott Long, the director of LGBT right programme at Human rights Watch.

“At the same time, the deputy governor of Ankara can still appeal within two weeks for the case to continue.” He warned.  “What’s needed is a legal provision ensuring that this kind of discriminatory action by public officials is forbidden.

“The government has resisted including protections for sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination legislation.  This whole scandal shows why that refusal is just plain wrong,” he added.



 Ankara’s Deputy Governor Threatens to Close Down Gay Organisation.  The Deputy Governor of Ankara, Selahattin Ekremoglu, is calling for an LGBT group to be closed down, it emerged today.  Ekremoglu claimed last week that the group operated “against the laws and morality rules” and should be closed down. (UK Gay News, September 21)

Gay Rights Violated by Turkey, Says Human Rights Watch.  The threat by Turkish officials to close down an organization defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights violates basic freedoms of association and expression, Human Rights Watch said last night.  (UK Gay News, September 28).



Kaos GL English language website
ILGA-Europe website
Human Rights Watch website




Recent Articles

October 12: 

UK:  Alleged Assaults on Gays In ’Derry Taken to Court.  A 26 years-old man, Stephen Lee Wright, is due to appear at Londonderry Courthouse tomorrow, Thursday October 13, on charges relating to a widely reported assault on a Rainbow Project Volunteer in July 2004 when the gay man was attacked and bitten in the face outside a chip shop in the Waterside area.

October 11: 
Gay Leicester Councillor’s ‘Outing’ of Teen Rent Boys in Newspaper is Slammed.  Gay men in Leicester who frequent the cruising area in Abbey Park have effectively been branded “paedophiles” – by a 23-years-old gay city councillor who is also a counsellor at the local LGBT centre.

October 10:  
Gay Women Particularly Susceptible to Discrimination in Kyrgyzstan.  By Gulnura Toralieva in Bishkek. 
It was an unpleasant incident at a Bishkek café that helped convince Sasha Kim that Kyrgyz lesbians had been silent for too long.  She was among several women ordered out of the cafe when two of their number were spotted by the other patrons exchanging a kiss. They were told the restaurant was a “respectable establishment” and no place for gays and lesbians.

October 7: 
Bid to Deport Gay Ugandan Torture Victim by UK Government.  A twenty-five years old refugee who was jailed by the Ugandan government for his gay human rights work and subjected to four months of forced labour, water torture, beatings and rape, from May to September 2004, is today facing deportation, Outrage! has revealed today.

October 5: 
Eastern Europe: 
Euro Conference Calls For End of Gay Discrimination.  More than 150 gay activists from central and eastern Europe are calling on their respective governments to outlaw discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and to implement legislation for “registered partnerships” for same-sex couples.

Nepal:  Kathmandu Gay Metis Are Released, But With ConditionsThe five Metis who were arrested on Sunday in the Nepali capitol were released yesterday, the gay rights group Blue Diamond Society has said.

October 4: 
Gay Executions and Torture: Does Protesting Really Help? Yes, Says Iranian Exile.  Commentary.  We often wonder whether protests outside Embassies have any effect.  It might make us feel good as we wave a banner condemning some atrocity or another, as was the case outside the Iranian Embassy in London today when gay rights in Iran – or the complete lack of them – took centre stage.

UK/Iran:  Celebrities Join London Protest Against Iran Gay Executions and Torture.  TV soap and film actor Jeremy Sheffield, gay rap star Q Boy, comedian Scott Cappurro, Big Brother contestant Josh Rafter, out gay Labour MP Chris Bryant and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell today joined a 50-strong protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

October 3: 
Star Support for London Demo Against Brutal Iranian Treatment of Gays A number of stars have backed tomorrow’s demonstration at the Iranian Embassy in London and the international petition organised by the monthly UK gay magazine axm

Nepal:  Call to Intervene to Help Release Five Imprisoned Gay Metis in Nepal, by Sunil Pant in Kathmandu.  Five metis were arrested last night about 10pm in Kantipath while they were on their way to the Thamel area of the Nepali capitol. [Reports from Nepal earlier today said that there were three metis arrested]. They were Suntali Lama (age about 22 years), Neema Lama (age 22), Kanchhi Lama (age 25), Bipasa Rai (aged about 19) and Deepa(age 22).

October 2: 
Anti-Gay Demonstration in Vilnius, by Juris
Lavrikovs.  Around 50 people gathered on the Europe Square in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Friday to protest against possible gay pride march and ‘spread’ of homosexuality in Lithuania.  All major Christian denominations expressed their support for this demonstration.

October 1: 
New Iran Protest Over Treatment of Gays at London Embassy A new protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London is to be staged next week.  UK gay human rights group Outrage!, which last July broke the news to the world of the execution of two gay teenagers, has joined forces with UK gay lifestyle monthly axm to spearhead a further demonstration at the Embassy on Tuesday (October 4).

September 29: 
“Please do not leave us alone,” Iranian Gays Urgently Appeal to World, by Doug Ireland The Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (PGLO) has appealed to North American activists for help in mobilizing support for their campaign against the vicious, lethal, anti-gay crackdown taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The anti-gay pogrom in Iran includes arrests and torture of gay people, executions of gay Iranians on trumped up charges, and a well-organized Internet entrapment campaign by Iran's religious sex police that is ensnaring gay Iranians daily.


Posted: 12 October 2005 at 18:30 (UK time)