LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Ankara’s deputy governor threatens to close down LGBT organisation

On 15 September the deputy governor of Ankara said that official registration of an LGBT organisation in existence since 1994 is against the laws and morality rules and therefore it should be closed down.

On 15 July 2005, Kaos GL Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Organisation – the Turkish LGBT organisation established and operating since 1994, applied for non-government organisation’s status at the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry approved the petition and forwarded it to its local branch in Ankara which functions under the Mayor of Ankara.

However,Selahattin Ekremoglu, the deputy governor of Ankara, came out with a statement referring to the Articles 56 and 4721 of the Turkish Civil Code prohibiting establishment of an organisation “that is against the laws and morality rules" and authorised a court procedure at the Principal Registry to close down the Kaos GL.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe said:

“We are seriously concerned about the statement by the deputy governor of Ankara and the beginning of the process to close down the Turkish LGBT organisation. Earlier this year we already witnessed attempts by various state and city authorities in Europe to restrict the right of LGBT people to assembly. However in all cases the bans were overturned by the courts and declared as discriminatory violation of the right to assembly and demonstration.

We hope that Turkey will not become yet another country attempting to limit LGBT people’s rights to assembly.  We would like to remind the Turkish authorities about their obligation to provide freedom of association under their own constitution as well as under the European Convention on Human Rights and accession negotiation process with the European Union.

For more information please contact

Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and works towards human rights and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at European level.

(2) More information about Kaos GL at

(3) Article 33 of the Turkish Constitution provides that ‘everyone has the right to form associations, or become a member of an association’.

Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees to everyone the right ‘to freedom of associations with others’.

Article 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union provides that everyone has the right ‘to freedom of association at all level, in particular in political, trade union and civil matters’.