Author: Yildiz Tar
Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
The second indefinite ban on LGBTI+ activity was lifted in Ankara, which was declared by the document submitted to the Police by the Governor's Office in 2018. The governor's office was unable to provide the court with any concrete documents relating to the justification for the ban.
2nd Administrative Court of Ankara ruled in the case of the Kaos GL Association on the "second indefinite ban on LGBTI+ activity" in the capital of Turkey.
The court ruled that 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, was against the law and canceled the ban.
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".
Court asked for documents, Governor's Office said 'intel info'
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 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.
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 Governorship 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 Governorship 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, despite the abolition of emergency, the judicial process for the decision 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 along with the verdict that is announced in the late hours of March 23, 2020. Thus, the bans on LGBTI+ events in Ankara came to an end.