02/10/2020 | Writer: Yıldız Tar
"With this decision, the unlawful actions of the Governorate of Ankara have been underlined once again" says Att. Dikmen.
The Regional Administrative Court also approved the verdict of Ankara's 2nd Administrative Court to annul the "second indefinite ban on LGBTI+ activity" in the case filed by the Kaos GL Association.
The Ankara's 2nd Administrative Court ruled for the annulment of the second ban on LGBTI+ activities in Ankara, which was declared by the letter conveyed to the Police Department by the Governor's Office of Ankara on October 3, 2018.
The Governorate appealed against this verdict. Ankara Regional Administrative Court rejected the appeal request of the Governorate and once again emphasized that the ban was unlawful.
“The unlawfulness of the Governorate of Ankara has been approved by the higher court”
Kaos GL Legal Coordinator Att. Kerem Dikmen commented on the verdict of the Regional Administrative Court to KaosGL.org:
“As Kaos GL, we filed a lawsuit against the general ban decision of the Governorate of Ankara, which is known as 'the second LGBTI + activity ban', and won. But upon this, the Governorate appealed to the Regional Administrative Court, which is a higher court. They demanded the reversal of the first verdict and the prohibition decision to continue. Today, with this decision of the Regional Administrative Court, the objection of the Governorate of Ankara was rejected. This decision means that the decision to annul the ban issued by the administrative court is in accordance with the law, and also that the general prohibition decisions of the Governorate of Ankara were against the law, legislation, and international conventions. With this decision, the unlawful act of the Governorate of Ankara was once again underlined. It has shown that the Governorate of Ankara cannot issue such ruling during both ordinary and extraordinary periods. From now on, another decree of a general ban by the Governorate of Ankara may constitute a crime."
What did the Ankara's 2nd Administrative Court decide?
The hearing of the administrative case was held on January 27. Lawyers Hayriye Kara and Kerem Dikmen, representing the Kaos GL Association, attended the hearing.
In its defense, Ankara Governor's Office stated that they have the authority to issue such proceeding in accordance with the 17th Article of the Meeting and Demonstration Marches Law no. 2911. The 17th article authorizes the Governorate with the ability to “adjourn a meeting for a period of one month at most to maintain national security, public order, prevent committing crimes, protect public health, morals and rights and freedoms of others or they may prohibit a meeting in case there is an obvious and close danger of the commission of a crime”.
2nd Administrative Court has requested that the Governorate to submit reports, investigations, information on the prohibition that they have issued in accordance with this article. The Governor's Office of Ankara was unable to provide any concrete documents to the court, arguing that the illegal decision of them was in accordance with "the judgment of the administrative chiefs on the incidents or the assessments on the related intel info"
After hearing the parties, the court ruled on January 29th. The court announced the verdict of 29 January 2020 in the late hours of March 23, 2020.
2nd Administrative Court of Ankara stated that the ban declared during the state of emergency and known as the first ban on LGBTI+ activities was lifted by the District Administrative Court in April 2019, and a ban that was found against the law even during the period of emergency could not be executed in accordance with the law after the end of the emergency period.
Administrative Court decided that "The provision that was based on the same reasons as the proceedings in the emergency period which was found against the law by the verdict of the court, but inured after the emergency period as a difference, is against the law".
The history of the bans in Ankara
There were two separate indefinite blanket bans regarding the activities of LGBTI+'s and LGBTI+ rights associations in Ankara; one imposed by the Governorate of Ankara during the emergency state period (the first ban) and the other issued in the period called post-emergency state (second ban).
During the emergency state era, the Kaos GL association won its legal battle in November 2017 over the indefinite ban on LGBTI+ activity issued by the Governorate of Ankara.
In April 2019, the District Administrative Court said the ban announced in the emergency state was limitless in terms of duration and there was no limitation or specification regarding the nature of prohibited actions. The court ruled that the ban was not legal, noting that law enforcement measures should be taken instead of banning it if there was a threat to the events. The court decided abolishment of the ban.
On the other hand, the judicial process for the decree of the Ankara Governorship's Legal Affairs Branch that it sent to the Provincial Police Department on October 3, 2018, for the same grounds has continued so far. The second ban was lifted with the decision of the administrative court. Thus, the indefinite LGBTI+ activity bans in Ankara came to an end. The Regional Administrative Court rejected the appeal request by approving the annulment of the ban.
Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
Tags: human rights