Constitutional Court of Turkey: Referring to gays as “perverts” is hate speech

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Constitutional Court of Turkey: Referring to gays as “perverts” is hate speech”, 17 July 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17105

For the first time, hate speech on the ground of sexual orientation is among rulings of the Constitutional Court. The Court acknowledged that calling gays “perverts” is hate speech. The decision can be seen here in Turkish. 

Attorney Sinem Hun’s application to the Constitutional Court of Turkey about a news article that appeared on the website Habervaktim.com, which involved hate speech referring both to her and to the Kaos GL Association, has come to a conclusion.

The Constitutional Court declared that the article stating, “Sinem Hun who is registered with the Ankara Bar Association and is the lawyer of the association of the perverts called Kaos GL” on Habervaktim.com is indeed hate speech on the ground of sexual orientation but ruled that it actually takes aim at the association and not at the applicant. Hereby, this is the first time hate speech on the ground of sexual orientation has been acknowledged by the Constitutional Court.

Not an assault on honor and dignity!

The Court, in order to protect the material and moral rights of Sinem Hun, decided that it is acceptable that Hun’s right to protect her honor and dignity has been violated but that her right to respect for her honor and dignity has not been broken.

The Constitutional Court supported its decision by claiming that “Unless there is a call for violence or hate speech that might damage pluralistic democracy and might even destroy it, punishment which limits individuals’ freedom should be avoided”.

As the Court investigates Habervaktim.com’s article named “Zionist Servants Again Attack with Terror” they concluded that it did not include any hate speech regarding Sinem Hun.

Hun claimed that the expression “lawyer of the perverts” is hate speech, that there is an assault on her honor and that Habervaktim.com continuously assaults gays with its articles and hate speech.