Kaos GL Association has made an individual application today to the Turkish Constitutional Court on behalf of the association’s Umut Guner against the ban on gay dating app Grindr.
The website of Grindr has been blocked by the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate since August 2013 as a “protective measure”.
Homosexuality is “automatically considered as a crime”
The application to the Constitutional Court was prepared with the support of Prof. Dr. Yaman Akdeniz from Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Law, and Asst. Prof. Dr. Kerem Altiparmak from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Human Rights Center. The application emphasizes that the decision to ban Grindr does not define obscenity and prostitution and that it automatically considers homosexuality is a crime.
Access to Grindr was blocked based on an individual application to the prosecutor’s office for the sharing of personal information without consent. The application to the Constitutional Court underlines that the protection measure has negatively affected the plaintiff for an undetermined amount of time even though the plaintiff had nothing to do with the event.
A new ban has just been added to the TIB’s (Turkish Telecommunications Directorate) list of homophobic bans. TIB issued a directive that bans access within Turkey to Gay.com, a world famous chat and dating website.
Gay.com has joined PlanetRomeo.com, an LGBTI community and dating service, and the smart phone app Grindr on the list of blocked sites.
The Presidency of Telecommunication (TIB) had blocked access “trans men data bank” Sick-o (www.transsicko.blogspot.com) on 7 October 2013 through “administrative measure” on the grounds of TIB Decision No: 5651. Transsick-o is an online blog that aims to inform readers on female to male transition and answers questions about trans men. A written petition requesting information on which No: 5651 article the blog violated went unanswered and access to the blog was re-granted on 24 October 2013 as arbitrarily and as quietly as the moment of closure.
Source: Ömer Akpınar, “Transsick-o: Bu Ülkede Bilgi Edinmenin Kendisi “Ayıp”,” (“Transsick-o: In this country, accessing information is the “shame”,”) Kaos GL, 11 October 2013, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=14995
The Presidency of Telecommunication (TIB) blocked access to Transsick-o also known as “the trans men information site” on 7 October 2013 through “administrative measure.” Transsick-o petitioned the TIB on 11 October 2013 to find out the reason for closure. Volunteer lawyers will also follow the legal process. Berk İnan, the founder of the blog that answers hundreds of questions about the lives of trans people, transsexuality, and the mandatory medical and legal processes, talks to KaosGL.org about the censorship.
Who uses Transsick-o?
Transsick-o is a blog that Turkish speaking trans men, which does not only include trans men from Turkey but also dual citizens or Azeris, use for consultation. People from Azerbaijan and the United States ask questions. We are currently consulting a Syrian trans man refugee in Turkey. It’s actually difficult to see who makes use of the site since it is an open platform. So trans men who use Turkish as their native language (Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, and Turkish speaking European Union residents and the rest of the world), their families, trans and LGBQI society, and the general public in Turkey benefit from it, I think.