Top court finds no rights violation in ban on 2016 gay pride march in Ankara

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the government did not violate the right to peaceful assembly by banning a gay pride march in Ankara planned for May 2016, the Bianet news website reported.

The pride march, organized by the Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL), was banned by the Ankara Governor’s Office, citing “safeguarding security and public order” as the reason for calling off the event.

The group then filed an application with the top court, saying the security authorities failed in their duty to protect the ability of citizens to exercise their rights.

An ultranationalist youth group, the Alperen Hearths, at the time had called people planning to participate in the gay pride event “immoral” and said it would “stop the march” if it went ahead.

In its ruling the top court said the public authorities were unable to fulfil their duty to protect march participants due to external factors, stating that the right to hold meetings and marches was not violated.

The LGBTI+ advocacy group KAOS GL has also filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) regarding a ban on LGBTI+ events imposed by the Ankara Governor’s Office in 2017.

A 2021 report by Kaos GL revealed that Turkey’s LGBTI+ community is feeling increasingly threatened under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

According to the report the government frequently targets LGBTQ+ individuals since high-ranking government officials publicly said they damage Turkish social and family values.

Turkey was ranked 48th among 49 countries as regards the human rights of LGBTI+ people, according to the 2021 Rainbow Europe Map published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)-Europe.

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