A ban on Pride events being held in the city was imposed in November 2017 due to “public sensitivity.”
When the ban was introduced, a statement read: “Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, concerning our community’s public sensitivity, any events such as LGBT cinema, theatre, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security.”
But now, the Turkish LGBTQ group Kaos GL has successfully appealed a ban on Pride events being held in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The ban was appealed at the 12th administrative court.
News of the appeal has been welcomed by LGBTQ groups in Turkey. In a statement after the ruling, a lawyer for Kaos GL, Hayriye Kara, said: “We can say that the court has accepted our arguments that we have advocated since the day when the ban has declared.
“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.”
Fotis Filippou, the campaigns director for Europe for Amnesty International, said: “This is a momentous day for LGBTI people in Turkey and a huge victory for the LGBTI rights activists – love has won once again.
“LGBTI people and their allies were scandalously and unlawfully banned from holding any LGBTI related events since November 2017. With Pride season approaching next month we celebrate this significant court ruling.”
And in a tweet, he added: “Ankara is better in colour.”
However, even with the ban lifted there is no guarantee that Pride events will go ahead. Turkish authorities have banned Pride marches happening in Istanbul since 2014. However, despite the government ban, hundreds of people defied it and marched in a Pride parade last year.