*UPDATE* Turkey: another LGBT rights organization faces closure

December 16, 2009

“Money is the road to justice – and power walks it on crooked legs”

Logo of Siyah Pembe (Black Pink Triangle Association)

A couple of months ago I wrote about the closure threat facing Black Pink Triangle Association in Izmir. An update on the situation has now been published in Bianet. I’m just going to quote it verbatim as it covers all the points I’d raise if I were to take the pink sparklehammer of deconstruction to it:

“Public Morality” Disturbed by LTGB organization…

The governorship filed a closure case against the Black Pink Triangle association in Izmir under charges of “opposing the public morality and the Turkish family structure”. The first hearing is scheduled for February next year.

The Siyah Pembe Üçgen (‘Black Pink Triangle’) LTGB association is facing a closure trial on the grounds of “running contrary to the public morality and the Turkish family structure”. The first hearing will take place on 19 February 2010. The association is the 5th LTGB organization established in Turkey after Kaos GL, Bursa Gökkuşağı (‘Bursa Rainbow’), Pembe Hayat (‘Pink Life’) and Lambdaistanbul.

Siyah Pembe Üçgen member Hülya Sur argued, “The prosecutor’s request to close down our association is a violation of the civic rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals (LGBTT). If the establishment of an association is a constitutional right and if the prosecutor wants to deprive a part of this right from the citizens, then we can speak of constitutional inequality”.

Once more the reason is “public morality”

Association member and joint attorney Elif Ceylan Özsoy talked to bianet about the establishment of the association and the launched court case.

“As the Siyah Pembe Üçgen LGBTT Association we presented our regulatory statute and the necessary documents to the Izmir Provincial Association Directorate on 20 February. The directorate was supposed to examine our regulatory statute and to inform us in written form about the approval or the provision of lacking documents within 60 days. We did not receive any information within this period of time”.

Özsoy continues, “I called the Directorate and they said ‘It was sent to the Ankara Association Office Presidency for examination and we still did not receive an answer from them’. So I called Ankara. They informed me that the request had not reached them yet. We faxed an application to the directorate in Izmir to speed up the process. Another 60 days had passed but there was still no written response”.

An answer was received on 26 May. The directorate requested to amend article 2 from the regulatory statute because it allegedly opposed article 43 on public morality and protection of the family; furthermore, a couple of lacking signatures had to be provided.

Özsoy indicated that their regulatory statute was not any different form the other LGBTT organizations in Turkey. They completed the missing signatures and sent it back without further amendments of the relevant article.

“This article is included in the regulatory statute of the 4 other LGBTT organizations as well and it is entered in their registries accordingly. We stated that this request was opposing the state’s principle of equality. Additionally, we reminded the fact that the Court of Appeals had rejected a closure request in the case of Lambdaistanbul, which had been filed on the grounds of opposing the article on public morality and protection of the family. We declared that we were not going to make the referring modifications”.

According to information from Özsoy, upon this response the governor applied to the Izmir Public Prosecutor’s Office on account of the Izmir Provincial Association Directorate for closing down the Siyah Pembe Üçgen Association. Prosecutor on duty Sami Dündar opened a court case on 16 October on the grounds of completing the deficiencies as notified within 30 days according to article 60/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.

“This case is the result of communication problems of the judiciary”

Hülya Sur claims, “Has somebody got a scale for evaluating citizenship? So let them feel comfortable and exclude LGBTT people from citizenship”.

The association member sees a communication problem within the judiciary since another closure case has been opened against an LGBTT organization despite the fact that the court of appeals decreed against the closure of Lambdaistanbul.

It’s worth restating that this is happening in Izmir, where the current Istanbul Chief of Police, Hüseyin Çapkın, is from (I wrote about this charming man’s totalitarian tactics back in September). With that in mind, it’s hard not to be skeptical that there’s even a gram of political will in government to uphold the human rights of trans people in Turkey to organise themselves in their own defence against the violent oppressors who should in fact be the ones who are on trial.

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Curtsey to Richard Koehler on the TGEU listserv for the heads up.

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Previous related posts:

  • Human rights violations against LGBT individuals in Turkey in 2008 (August 9, 2009)
  • Turkey: trials in connection with the murders of two trans women now under way (July 9, 2009)
  • Unsafe haven: LGBT asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey (July 8, 2009)
  • Turkey – new Chief of Police for Istanbul. Will this bring an end to the “undeclared war” against trans women? (June 15, 2009)
  • Turkish policemen on trial for attack on trans woman (May 29, 2009)
  • Turkey: another trans woman stabbed to death – UPDATE (May 29, 2009)
  • Turkey: another trans woman stabbed to death (May 25, 2009)
  • Turkish parliament questioned on trans safety (May 12, 2009)
  • Lambda Istanbul granted permission to continue operating (May 7, 2009)
  • Suspected murderer of trans rights activist arrested in Turkey (April 21, 2009)
  • Every 15 days, another trans person is murdered in Turkey (April 14, 2009)
  • The undeclared war against LGBTT people in Turkey continues (March 29, 2009)
  • Another trans woman murdered in Turkey (March 14, 2009)
  • Trans woman stabbed to death in Istanbul (March 12, 2009)
  • Lambda Istanbul wins appeal against closure (January 28, 2009)
  • Trans rights abuses in Turkey (November 29, 2008)
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