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”), memurlar.net, 17 March 2015, http://www.memurlar.net/haber/505697/

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 The Council of State has annulled the decision of the administrative court which had not withdrawn the decision of dismissal from the profession.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.


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