10/08/2006 | Writer: KAOS GL

Below is the letter that was sent to various European Parliament members regarding the Gay march in Bursa by COC Netherlands.

Dear Members and supporters of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights of the European Parliament,

I would like to bring to your attention the recently cancelled Gay March in Bursa, Turkey.

Shortly after the ban of the KAOS GL Magazine by the Ankara Justice Court, the police in Bursa now cancelled a Gay march which was planned to take place. According to the organisers the police failed to take adequate measures to ensure the march to go ahead after it had been treathened by anti-gay protesters. Earlier the Bursa Governor's Office granted permission for the march, 'in the name of freedom of expression'. However, in May this year the same Governer's Office bidded to close down the Bursa office on grounds of being "against the law and public moral". Herewith it seems that the Governor's office has shown sensitivity for the recent international pressure to allow gay prides, but has failed to provide sufficient protection to the participants.

The Bursa case follows the recent ban of KAOS GL Magazine, which was confiscated after Republican Prosecutor Metin Sezgin from Ankara Chief Republican Prosecutor's Office Press Crimes Investigation Bureau demanded this in a text dated July 21, 2006 and numbered 2006/1708, because some content and pictures in some texts in a file on pornography in the 28th issue because were understood to 'breach protection of general morality.' However, the magazine was discussing and critisising pornography and it was not promoting it.

Please see for more information on this recent events: http://news.kaosgl.com/.

It seems that the authorities in Turkey continously impede the work of the LGBT organisations in Turkey, rather than being a responsible alley in the struggle of this minority group. Herewith freedom of association, assembly and expression are at stake.

COC Netherlands last week called upon MEP's Emine Bozkurt (rapporteur for women rights and minorities in Turkey), and Camiel Eurlings (rapporteur EU accession), to bring the ban of KAOS GL magazine under the attention of European Commissioner responsible for Accession Mr. Olli Rehn and Mr. Franco Frattini (Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security).

We rely on the EP Intergroup for LGBT Rigths to assure that the Commission will take appropriate measures following these happenings.

Yours sincerely,

Joyce Hamilton

Board Member COC Netherlands
Responsible for International Policy

Tags: human rights