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Reacting to the news that an Ankara administrative appeals court has today lifted the blanket ban on all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex events in place in the capital since November 2017, Fotis Filippou, Campaigns Director for Europe at Amnesty International said:

“This is a momentous day for LGBTI people in Turkey and a huge victory for the LGBTI rights activists – love has won once again. LGBTI people and their allies were scandalously and unlawfully banned from holding any LGBTI related events since November 2017. With pride season approaching next month we celebrate this significant court ruling.”

“One of the Ankara governorate’s key justifications for imposing this outrageous ban was that it was necessary because some people might be provoked by LGBTI events. This was unequivocally rejected by the administrative appeals court which stated the State’s responsibility is to enable and protect peaceful assembly. This is good news not only for LGBTI organizations and activists but also others who have had their peaceful assemblies unlawfully restricted or banned.”

The court clearly stated that even under a state of emergency, indefinite blanket bans such as the one in place in Ankara, are unlawful.

“Though the state of emergency was lifted in July 2018, many of the restrictions to peaceful assembly are still in place. We call on the authorities to urgently ensure that all such unjustified and unlawful bans are lifted,” said Fotis Filippou.

Background

Ankara based LGBTI rights organisation KAOS GL challenged the blanket indefinite ban imposed on all LGBTI events by the provincial governorate since 18 November 2017 in the context of the state of emergency, requesting that the ban is lifted. This application was rejected in November 2018. This appeal against that first instance administrative court decision is final.

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