14/02/2010 | Writer: KAOS GL

Hurriyet Daily News
February 11, 2010

Black Pink Triangle, LGBT organization from Izmir, is facing closure case on the grounds that it threatens "Turkish moral values and family structure." Following the complain by Izmir Governor's Office first hearing took place on February 6. It is yet another LGBT organization in the last years exposed to judicial harassment from state's authorities.

Another Turkish LGBT association, Siyah Pembe Ucgen (Black Pink Triangle), is facing closure due to a court case opened Feb. 9.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization was brought to court through a complaint from the governor's office claiming that the association's aims and purposes violated "Turkish moral values and family structure."

Amnesty International called on Turkish authorities to end the judicial harassment of LGBT organizations in Turkey. Black Pink Triangle is collecting signatures under a legal petition against the court case.

The case against the Black Pink Triangle Association is not the first case opened against an LGBT organization in Turkey in recent years. The Interior Ministry has repeatedly attempted the closure of such organizations on similar claims. In 2005, KAOS-GL and in 2006, Pembe Hayat (Pink Life) faced closure cases. In 2009, Lambda Istanbul won its closure case after a lengthy legal battle.

"Amnesty International opposes the closure case against Black Pink Triangle, which highlights the pattern of judicial harassment targeting LGBT organizations. The closure of Black Pink Triangle on such grounds would violate the rights of all persons of freedom of association, expression and non-discrimination and runs contrary to Turkey's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights," read AI's official statement released Jan. 28.

Black Pink Triangle is the first İzmir-based LGBT organization and was established in February 2009. Following the founding of the organization, the governor's office complained that one of the articles in the Black Pink Triangle's constitution was violating the Turkish civil code, in particular, paragraphs protecting Turkish moral values and family structure. The office also demanded the organization amend the questioned article and submit full documentation of the change within 30 days. Black Pink Triangle claims it met the deadline, however, did not alter the constitution, regarding such demand to be a violation of the members' freedom of association. Following that incident, the İzmir Governor's Office brought the complaint to the prosecutor's office in May.

If the court upholds the complaint it would lead to the closure of the Black Pink Triangle Association. Such ruling would be a violation of "individual rights to freedom of association, expression and non-discrimination," read AI's statement.

In the Lambda case the Istanbul Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that there are no legal provisions to close an association on the grounds of morality, stating that: "no clause exists in our laws that prohibits lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite and transsexual persons from assembly to form an association with aims of solidarity. As a result, it cannot be said that [these associations'] aims and purposes are unlawful or immoral."

Original Link of this News Article: LGBT organization faces closure in Turkey
Tags: human rights