26/01/2009 | Writer: KAOS GL

January 26, 2009

Below is the Press Declaration regarding the Court's Decision on closure of Lambda Istanbul LGBT Solidarity Association in Istanbul, Turkey.

Press Declaration on the Reasoned Decision of Lambda's Court Case

We are here with you today to share the reasoned court of appeal decision on Lambdaitsanbul's ban case and our views on it.

The court case decision taken on 29th May 2008 by the Civil Court of First Instance Nr. 3 to ban Lambdaistanbul Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Transvestite Solidarity Association has been overturned by the Court of Appeal Nr.7.

First of all, we emphasize that being brought into court or to be threatened with it, is as much of a crucial barrier as a punishment decision while defending human rights and liberties. Over the last three years through the legal case demanding banning of Lambdaistanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association all LGBTT individuals and associations protecting LGBTT rights has been held subject to legal pressure and been punished indirectly.

We consider the reasoned decision we received as a positive step towards the continuation of the legal personality of Lambdaistanbul, proving the vital role of our movement today. However, as we take a closer look on the fifth page of the reasoning, it is noted that the court of appeal indeed agrees to a great extend with the court of first instance with regards to its persuasions on "general morals". Without a doubt, the following sentence on the fifth page is an open threat to all LGBTT organizations in Turkey:

"Certainly, the execution of the above mentioned articles 30 and 31 and the dissolution of the defendant association could still be demanded, if it would act counter to its constitution, in the ways of encouraging or provoking gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and transvestite behavior or acting with the aim of spreading such sexual orientations."

Sexual orientation or sexual identity cannot be changed through imposition. It is the fact both for LGBTT and for heterosexual people, admittedly the majority of the population.

For the last 20 years, it is not the number of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and transvestites increasing, rather it is their individual and organized visibility that has been pressured and silenced until today. It is thus, unfortunate, that the court of appeal considers the organized visibility and rights struggle of the ignored LGBTT's, who are subjected to pressure and othering because of their sexual identity and sexual orientation, as a risk to society.

Through the reasoned decisions of both courts it has been recovered, that the long standing campaign of LGBTT organizations in Turkey for adding "sexual orientation and gender identity" phrases to the discrimination clause 10 of the Turkish Constitution was indeed a real need. We argue as a result, that above mentioned constitutional safeguard is a must to hinder any homophobic interpretations of those vague concepts in law such as "general morals" or "social values" by the barristers, who suffer from the very same social prejudices as many others in society.

We lastly hope that the court of first instance Nr. 3, to whom our case file has been resent would overturn its decision taken on 29th May 2008, which forfeited us our right to organize. We are ending with the sentence, we repeat over and over again. "While acknowledging the arduous efforts behind every rights struggle to build its own legitimate basis, we will work further to build the legitimate basis of our own movement through legal means."

Issued by THE LGBT RIGHTS PLATFORM

Note: LGBT Rights Platform is composed of various LGBT organizations and initiatives in Turkey which are stated below:

Izmir Transvestite and Transsexual Initiative, Izmir, Turkey
Kaos GL Association, Ankara, Turkey
Kaos GL Izmir Formation, Izmir, Turkey
Lambda Istanbul LGBT Solidarity Association, Istanbul, Turkey
Mor EL Eskisehir LGBT Formation, Eskisehir, Turkey
Pembe Hayat LGBT Solidarity Association, Ankara, Turkey
Piramid LGBT Diyarbakir Formation, Diyarbakir, Turkey

Tags: human rights
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