Turkey: Court lifts ban on LGBT Pride events in Ankara

A ban on LGBT events in the Turkish capital Ankara has been lifted, following a decision by the 12th administrative court, a rights group announced on Friday. The ban, which was imposed in November 2017 using legislation brought in by the state of emergency that was imposed following the July 2016 coup attempt, had been the subject of an appeal by the Turkish LGBT rights group Kaos GL.

Although an initial appeal to the court was rejected in November 2018, on Friday it was announced that an appeal had been successful.

“We can say that the court has accepted our arguments that we have advocated since the day when the ban has declared," said Kaos GL's lawyer, Hayriye Kara, in a statement. "Instead of banning fundamental rights and freedoms to protect social peace, they said that the group that is vulnerable to any attack should be protected. It can be said that the court ruled that the state must protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of LGBTI+s”.

Although homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, homophobic attitudes persist, and in recent years Istanbul and Ankara have used emergency powers to ban the annual Gay Pride and Trans Pride marches in the cities.

Activists have persisted with attempting to hold the annual marches in Ankara and Istanbul - where it had been regularly held since 2003 - but have faced mass arrests, beatings and tear gas from the police. Read more via Middle East Eye