Governorship of Ankara bans all activities of LGBTI organizations on “public morality” grounds

On Saturday evening, the Governorship of Ankara decided to ban “from November 2018, onwards, activities of LGBTT-LGBTI organizations following an earler decision to prohibit German LGBTI Film Days.

After social media publications of the event, the Governor’s office, decided to indefinitely ban activities such as “film screenings, cinevision, theater plays, panels, talks, exhibitions, which include certain social sensitivities and sensibilities”.

Two organizations operating in Ankara, KAOS GL and Pembe Hayat, released a statement on Sunday, 19 November calling this ban illegal, discriminatory and arbitrary. Considered to be a decision with very wide scope, organizations are now faced with a vague situation, which creates grounds for interpretation and right violations, which could potentially criminalize LGBTI organizations, individuals and anything or anyone doing something on this subject.

Meanwhile all grounds cited by the Governorship of Ankara such as “protection of public health and morality”, “social sensibilities and sensitivities”, “public security” and “protection of other people’s rights and liberties” are considered discriminatory.

This decision is considered by organizations as one more step towards more discrimination and violation of rights of LGBTI people in Turkey. “This decision and the illegal and vague grounds for it, violate the very fundamental freedoms of expression and association, as well as other fundamental rights and freedoms. With this ban, fundamental rights have been interfered with in their essence.”

Ankara governor’s office’s decision to ban violates our constitution’s Article 10 on equality and Article 26 on freedom to announce and disseminate thoughts, as well as international agreements Turkey is party to. 

With this announcement the civil administration is endangering public safety by turning LGBTIs and civil society organizations, who are an important part of the public, into targets instead of fulfilling its duty to ensure public security. 

Organizations are calling for this decision to be rethought and withdrawn in the shortest amount of time. “In our country where discrimination and hate based on sexual orientation and gender identity is rampant, it is the duty of national and local administrations to combat this discrimination and hate.”

Read full statement here.

Read decision of Ankara Governorship here

Photo Credits: Good Free Photos