European Convention on Human Rights

Kaos GL and Pink Life’s Criminal Complaint Against Posters and Online Statements Calling for Massacring LGBTs

Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association and Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association is filing a criminal complaint with the Information Technology Bureau of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the group Young Islamic Defense’s statement issued on their website and the posters posted throughout Ankara streets which quote a hadith by the prophet Muhammad calling for the massacre of LGBT individuals. Attorneys Hayriye Kaya, Yasemin Öz, and Oya Aydın are accusing Global Analysis (Küresel Analiz), the content provider for the website, for violating constitutional rights and relevant legislation in the Turkish Penal Code regarding inciting hatred and provocation to crime. Below are key points underlined in the complaint:


  • The LGBTIs have been characterized as “THE PEOPLE LIVING THE SUMMIT OF IMMORALITY” and were made the target of homophobic and transphobic hate and violence in the article entitled “Remains of the Tribe of Lot” published in the website on 6 July 2015.

In the relevant article it was stated that:

The march of the organization entitled ‘LGBT’, that we are ashamed even to write the long form thereof, has once again proven us that the remains of the Tribe of Lot are still present in this day and age. These people living the summit of immorality also made sure to ridicule the names of the holy Three Months, namely ‘Rajab, Sha’bān and Ramadan’. We could not have remained indifferent, in the God’s righteous path, to this deprived march in the void cause. We showed effort both to raise awareness of our society and to do a small portion of our part. By putting up our posters on this matter to some areas, we shared the hadith ‘If you see the one carrying out the Tribe of Lot’s dirty work, kill the doer and the done!’ mentioned in Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood, with our society in order to show that the Muslims must not stay silent about this and that Islam strictly forbids this matter. Our wish is that we learn the conduct Islam requests from us, in the light of the Quran and Sunnah, instead of learning it from the preachers who cannot scream the truth on televisions.”

Below the statement, there were photographs of the posters (Annex-1) stating “If you see the one carrying out the Tribe of Lot’s dirty work, kill the the doer and the done” that were put up in various areas.


There is an explicit call for the murder of LGBT individuals justified by religious references in the statement on the website  and the posters (as shown in the photographs below the statement).

  • Article 214 of the Turkish Penal Code entitled “Provoking Commission of Offense” states:

(1) The person who provokes a crime shall be punished by imprisonment for six months to five years.

(2) The person who provokes a section of society to arm itself and kill another section of society shall be punished by imprisonment for 15 to 24 years.

(3) In the event of said crimes being committed, the person who provokes the crime shall be punished as the person who enables the crime.

As explained above and as can be seen in the internet print outs attached to our petition, through this statement and posters, a call is issued to Muslims not to be spectators to “immorality” but to kill LGBT people.

  • The right to life is a basic human right. The right to life and the material and spiritual integrity of a person is guaranteed in international covenants and the Constitution. Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights also emphasizes the right to life as one of the most fundamental provisions.


Turkey’s Council of State rules firing of gay teacher to be against the law

Source: “Danıştay, eşcinsel öğretmenin atılmasını hukuka aykırı buldu”, (“Council of State rules firing of gay teacher to be against the law”),, 17 March 2015,

The Council of State has ruled that the dismissal of a teacher who has homosexual relations in their private life to be against the law. The Council of State has pointed to the lack of evidence, indication or witnesses to show that the plaintiff reflected homosexual tendencies in the school or engaged in such relations with students outside of the school. It also pointed to the testimonies of teachers and directors taken during the disciplinary investigation who work in the same school as the plaintiff in which they state that they have not seen any negative acts and that they have not heard anything about the issue.

Therefore, the Council of State has ruled that the act consists of consensual homosexual relations within the plaintiff’s private life and that it has no relevancy to Law No: 657 Article 124/2 on Disciplinary Law of Civil Servants and that it is not a disciplinary crime. The Council of State has annulled the decision of the administrative court which had not withdrawn the decision of dismissal from the profession.

The Council of State, 12th Circuit, No: 2011/750, Decision No: 2014/7169. Full decision in Turkish can be found here.

Editor’s Note:

The decision refers to the Turkish Constitution’s Article on Equality, Right to Respect for Private and Family Life and Article 90 that holds “international agreements duly put into effect bears the force of law”. The decision cites the European Convention on Human Rights’ Article 8 “Right to respect for private and family life” and Article 14 “Prohibition of discrimination”. The decision refers to European Court of Human Rights rulings Dudgeon v. United Kingdom (Application No: 7525/76 – Decision Date: 22.10.1981), Smith and Grady v. United Kingdom (Application No:33985/96- Decision Date: 27.9.1999), Lustig/Prean and Beckett v. United Kingdom (Application No: 31417/96 – Decision Date: 27.9.1999), Perkins and R. United Kingdom (Application No: 43208/98 – Decision Date: 22.10.2002), Beck, Copp and Bazeley v. United Kingdom (Application No:48535/99 – Decision Date: 22.10.2002), which put forth that dismissing person from the military based solely on their sexual orientation is a violation of ECHR’s Article 8 and ruling Özpınar v. Turkey (Application No: 20999/04 – Decision Date: 19.10.2010), which states that a judge’s dismissal from the profession on allegations of the judge’s relationships in their private life, way of dressing and makeup constituted a violation of the right to privacy.


LGBTI NEWS TURKEY’s Summary of Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Turkey

LGBTI NEWS TURKEY submitted this document at the Core Group Luncheon Hosted by the European Union for LGBTI activists in New York on 9 December 2013. The same document has been serviced to the United Nations Press Office for International Human Rights Day.

Human Rights Violations in Turkey and LGBTI People

  • Violations of human rights in Turkey are well documented: During the 2013 Gezi demonstrations, 5 protestors were killed, more than 8,000 people were injured. Unofficial detentions and arbitrary arrests were recorded.
  • Turkey has one of the world’s worst records in press freedom: Data from October 2013 puts the number of imprisoned journalists at 65 for allegedly aiding terrorism and coup attempts. The trial of Hrant Dink’s murder is pending since 2007. Gag orders are widespread and media highly biased.
  • Though a wide-range of individuals and groups have faced rights violations, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex) people in Turkey have long been one of the most obvious targets due to deep-seated social and political prejudices that almost naturalize and render invisible some blatant forms of discrimination.
  • These violations occur in almost total disregard of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is binding for Turkey under international law. ECHR also takes priority over domestic law, put in motion by Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution.


The Case of F.E.:Termination of State Employment Based on Sexual Orientation

Source: Sosyal Politikalar, Cinsiyet Kimliği ve Cinsel Yönelim Çalışmaları Derneği. (Social Policies, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association) LGBT Hak İhlalleri: Emsal Dava Analizleri (The Rights Violations Against LGBT People: Selected Case Analyses.) Istanbul: Punto Baskı Çözümleri, 2013. Available at:   

Subject of Investigation:

The case filed at the administrative court to annul the illegal decision by the Ministry of the Interior to terminate state employment and whether the trial was conducted according to the law and justice.

Scope of Investigation:

Istanbul Eighth Administrative Court 2009/476 E and Decision No: 2009/2242.

Summary of the Event Before Investigation:

F.E. passed his police exams in June 2006 and started working at the Security Branch Directorship of the Istanbul Police Department.

There was a tip off that he sexually abused children and committed obscenities and the investigation conducted led to a decision of non-prosecution.

In this period, he was psychologically pressured to resign but the discipline investigation within the institution continued. F.E. withdrew his resignation but it was not processed and the discipline investigation concluded with a decision to terminate his state employment. A suit was filed to annul this illegal decision with a motion to stay the implementation.

Pre-Trial Investigation and Prosecutorial Processes:

F.E.’s house was searched on 24.09.2007 after the tip that he sexually abused children and committed obscenities.

Though there was no warrant for the confiscation of his computer, it was confiscated instead of obtaining a back up. There is no record in the file that F.E. was reminded of his rights. Neither was there a person or a neighbor to sit with him during the search, which is against the laws of confiscation.

Though there was no evidence of child pornography during the search, the investigation of the crime of obscenity continued. In File No: 2007/167515 E., the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor’s Office made a decision of non-prosecution on 04.12.2008, Decision No: 2008/41285. The confiscated belongings were returned after the decision.

The Discipline Investigation by the Ministry of Interior’s High Discipline Board:

The process that started with the tip against F.E. continued with the discipline investigation by the Ministry of Interior’s High Discipline Board. The illegal search and confiscation were taken as grounds for this investigation.

The inspectors of the Ministry of Interior recommended that F.E. be punished with termination of state employment based the State Personnel Law No: 657 Article 125/E-g that states “engaging in shameful and embarrassing behaviors that are not befitting of someone within state employment.”

The discipline investigation claimed that during his employment at the Security Branch Directorship of the Istanbul Police Department, F.E. engaged in homosexual relations, had close relations with former sergeant, went to gay bars frequented by homosexuals, took part in gay/homosexual chats online, and sexual images and videos were found on his personal computer. His defense was requested in light of the State Personnel Law No: 657 Article 125/E-g that states engaging in shameful and embarrassing behaviors that are not befitting of someone with the title state employee, which is punishable by termination of state employment.

The discipline investigation concluded on 17.07.2008 with the Ministry of Interior’s High Discipline Board Decision No: 2008/44 giving a decision of termination of state employment.

F.E.’s Resignation During the Discipline Investigation: 

F.E. was psychologically pressured to resign on 24.09.2007 as it became impossible for him to work in the institution during the ongoing prosecutorial and discipline investigations.

On 05.10.2007, F.E. submitted a new petition to withdraw his resignation. With File No: B.05.1.EGM. dated 23.10.2007, the Ministry of Interior’s Police Department remarked on the petition that his resignation and termination from 26.06.2007 onwards was accepted on 24.09.2007 on the basis of State Personnel Law No: 657 Article 94 (resignation).

The Case Filed at the Administrative Court to Annul the Termination of State Employment:

Following the conclusion of the discipline investigation and the decision to terminate F.E.’s state employment, a case was filed at the Istanbul Eighth Administrative Court under File No: 2009/476 E to annul this illegal termination with a motion to stay the implementation that would cause irrevocable damage.

The trial petition stated that the decision to expel from F.E from his profession violated Articles 8, 9, and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The punishment would prevent F.E., a master’s student at the Istanbul University Science Institute, from starting an academic career. Termination of state employment would also prevent him from going back to the  job he was going before passing the police exams, when he was working as a chemistry teacher.

The petition stated that the continuation of the discipline investigation despite his resignation and the decision to expel from him from the profession was against the law.

The Court first assessed the request for a stay motion but rejected it without providing reasoning. The objection to the rejection was also not accepted by the Court, again without providing reasoning.

Following the proceedings, the Istanbul Administrative Court rejected the suit by stating that no violation of regulations had been found under File No: 2009/476 and Decision No: 2009/2242.

In its reasoned decision, the Court stated, “…the plaintiff lived with two men who are deemed to be homosexual from time to time, went to a bar frequented by homosexuals with his boyfriends, unnatural pictures, texts, and photographs were stored in his computer along with natural pornographic images, the ceased computer revealed that using a nickname, he chatted online with people with homosexual tendencies and these chats had homosexual content, lived with a woman who left her home without permission even though she is an adult. Further, the sexual photographs from the ceased computer were analyzed and showed resemblances to a female police officer who was his colleague, and he had close relations with a sergeant who left the military in the Office of the Commander of Chief Air Force Command with a letter that expressed his homosexuality on 23 October 2007.

The Court stated, “…Given the investigation report and its addendum, the candidate police officer lived periodically with two homosexual persons documented by the health institute, possessed homosexual materials at home, frequented clubs where homosexuality continued, and at different times and locations met, talked with, and befriended people online and in person. These qualified actions are not befitting of someone within state employment and therefore, the punishment given to the plaintiff does not violate regulations,” and rejected the case.

The decision by the Administrative Court was appealed with a stay motion request.

The Council of State Twelfth Chamber File No: 2010/3201 discussed the request for a stay motion; despite the chamber president’s caveat, the request for a stay motion was denied with four members’ nay votes. The file is still at the Council of State and its appeal investigation has not been completed.

Conclusions on the Investigation and Observations

Both the defendant administration and the Court have arbitrarily interpreted the State Personnel Law No:  657 Article 125.

Homosexuality is not considered a crime in the Turkish Penal Code or in our other laws. When the administration chose to terminate F.E.’s state employment after the discipline investigation, it acted arbitrarily, illegally, and unjustly. The decision clearly violates the principle of proportionality.

The High Discipline Board and the Court’s definition of homosexuality as unnatural sexual intercourse, as an act that is shameful and embarrassing is against science, law, and justice.

The inspectors of the Ministry of Interior who led the discipline investigation and the Court judges who ruled in contradiction with the law have clearly violated the Constitution’s Article on Equality.

The discipline investigation against F.E. also violates the basic penal law principle of no punishment without law. Neither the State Personnel Law No: 657 nor any legal regulation define homosexuality as a disciplinary crime. Yet the High Discipline Board regarded homosexual relations as a shameful and embarrassing behavior not befitting of someone within state employment. The Court’s ratification of the punishment of termination of state employment shows that homosexuality is a shameful and embarrassing behavior not befitting of someone within state employment.

The punishment of termination of state employment and the ratification of this illegal decision by the Court also violated the international agreements Turkey is party to.

The European Convention on Human Rights Article 8 is the right to, and respect for, private and family life and private life includes a person’s sexual life and sexual orientation. The police and the Discipline Board’s investigation into F.E.’s sexual orientation and activities as well as the details of his encounters is a clear violation of the right to respect of his private life.

Even though our national law includes regulations on the prevention of discrimination, albeit insufficient and lacking in monitoring mechanisms, there are still plenty of regulations that can lead to discrimination. The expressions in  State Personnel Law No: 657 Article 125 that include, “behaviors and attitudes that are not befitting of someone within state employment,” “behaviors outside the bounds of general morality and manners,” “shameful and embarrassing behaviors,” and “dignity” are only a few examples of discriminatory regulations.

Discriminatory regulations must be determined through a comprehensive survey and must be amended to be consistent with international agreements.

Lawyer Özlem AYATA

Yasemin Öz: Legal Regulations Needed to Prevent Discrimination and Hatred Towards LGBT People in Turkey

Yasemin Öz, “LGBT Bireylere Yönelik Ayrımcılık ve Nefret Konusunda Gerçekleştirilmesi Gereken Temel Yasal Düzenlemeler,” (“Legal Regulations Needed to Prevent Discrimination and Hatred Towards LGBT People in Turkey,”) Turkish Policy Quarterly “Women’s Rights and LGBT Freedoms in Turkey” Presentation on 06 November 2013.

  • The regulations concerning LGBT people are limited in the Turkish judicial system. Even though homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism are non-incriminating in the law, there are no regulations on the subject. Law makers choose to leave a legal loophole by not passing regulations. Nevertheless, there are limited positive and negative arrangements concerning LGBT people. There are also clauses that do not refer to sexual orientation directly but that can be used positively.