Updated at 22.30 (UK) on
October 12 with statement
from Scott Long of Human
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
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
“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
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.
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,
Kaos GL English language website
Human Rights Watch website
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.
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.
Kyrgyzstan: 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.
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.
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.
Kathmandu Gay Metis Are Released, But With Conditions.
The five Metis who were arrested on Sunday in the Nepali capitol were
released yesterday, the gay rights group Blue Diamond Society has said.
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.
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.
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
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
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
UK/Iran: 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).
“Please do not leave us
alone,” Iranian Gays Urgently
Appeal to World,
by Doug Ireland.
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.