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Laws

TURKEY

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum, Refugees
Bullying
  Censorship, Free Speech
Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Defamation, Insult
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gay Rights
Gender Identity
  Harassment
Hate Crimes
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
  Military
Partners
Parenting
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

The age of consent in Turkey is reportedly 18 years [R1.2].

Interpol suggests that "there is no precise legal age of consent for sexual activity" [R1.1].

R1.2 Queer Resources Directory: Turkey Gay Guide (Accessed 15 NOV 10)
Avert: Worldwide Ages of Consent (Accessed 15 NOV 10)
R1.1 Interpol: Sexual offences against children PDF 23.28kb, (Accessed 28 FEB 10)
Asylum, Immigration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Turkey has a long history of offering safety for refugees. Between 1923 to 1997 1.6 million people fled to Turkey, displaced by WW2, the Cold War and the Gulf conflicts [R1.1].

Amnesty International has reported cases of non-European asylum seekers registering for refugee status and then being forcefully deported by Turkish authorities [R1.1].

There have been cases where refugees have been handed directly to the authorities of the country they were fleeing [R1.1].

R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Gay Iranian Denied Refugee Status by UN 25 JUL 08
PinkNews.co.uk: Gay Iranian Granted Refugee Status by UN 17 JUL 08
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 August 2013, the Istanbul Anatolian 14 Magistrates' Court decision CM 2013/406 ordered access to the Grindr application and website be blocked as a 'protection measure'. The order reportedly came into effect on 10 September 2013 [R1.1].

R1.1 PinkNews: Court bans access to gay dating app Grindr as a 'protection measure' 12 SEP 13
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In 1996, the Turkish Supreme Court of Justice has ruled that a lesbian is a threat to the moral development of her child and have refused to uphold the decision of a lower court that granted the mother custody of her 2-year old daughter [R1.1].

The Supreme Court defined the lesbian mother as "a woman who has a (sexual) habit in the degree of sickness".

R1.1 Brother Sister: Mother Considered Threat 22 AUG 96
Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Human Rights Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 September 2012, it was reported that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had vetoed a proposal jointly introduced by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) that would have brought in constitutional protection for gay rights [R1.3].

R1.3 GayStarNews: Turkey rejects protection for gay rights 14 SEP 12
Defamation, Insult, Libel, Slander Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 09 January 2012, it was reported that the High Court of Appeals, overturning lower court rulings, found the headline 'Üskül prefers perverts' insulted LGBT people, saying 'The freedom of the press does not encompass the freedom to insult the personal freedoms of individuals'.

R1.1 GayStarNews: Turkish court fines gay insult paper 09 JAN 12
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In March 2010, it was reported that a board to prevent discrimination was going to be founded according to a draft law that the Interior Ministry recently completed under the government's move for democratization. The draft law includes sexual identity [R1.2].

In May 2009, a Turkish soccer referee was forced out of his job because of his sexuality he having been excused from his compulsory military service on account of his homosexuality [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 January 2011, a criminal court in Bursa ruled that the Rainbow Association must shut down after claims by the local government that its members had engaged in prostitution [R2.4].

On 30 April 2010, Judge Mursel Ermis in the Izmir Court, rejected a demand sought by the governor's office to ban Siyah Pembe Ucgen (Black Pink Triangle), a group campaigning for gay rights [R2.3].

In January 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeals rejected the local court's decision to enforce closure of Lambda Istanbul on the grounds that reference to LGBT people in the name and the statute of the association did not constitute opposition to Turkish moral values [R2.2].

Previously:

In 2007, a demand to enforce closure of Lambda Istanbul, Turkey's leading GLBT organisation, was thwarted by a judge who ordered legal experts to compile a report [R2.1].

R1.2 Hürriyet Daily News: Discrimination will be banned, draft law says 17 MAR 10
R1.1 MCV: Legal fight for gay referee 21 MAY 09
R2.4 PinkNews: Turkish LGBT group shut down by court 06 JAN 11
R2.3 Al Arabiya News Channel : Turkish court refuses to ban Gay rights groups 30 APR 10
R2.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Istanbul Gay Rights Group Wins Appeal Against Closure Under Morality Laws 21 JAM 09
R2.1 MCV: GLBT Morality Breach 25 OCT 97

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Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 18 October 2010, international human rights groups were calling on officials in Turkey to drop charges against five transgender rights activists on trial this week for resisting arrest [R1.4].

On 22 February 2010, the IGLHRC reported an ongoing pattern of violence against transgender people that included a number of murders [R1.3].

In 1988, a specific law on Gender recognition after Gender Reassignment treatment was introduced [R1.2].

In 1997, it was reported that assault by the police is emblematic of the situation of transvestites and transsexuals in Istanbul, who have been routinely rounded up from their homes, beaten and evicted [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 21 October 2010 (quaere), the trial judge hearing charges of resisting arrest against five transgender activists dismissed the case, citing the lack of evidence against the defendants [R2.1].

R1.4 The Advocate: Transgender Activists on Trial in Turkey 18 OCT 10
R1.3 IGLHRC: Turkey: Stop Violence Against Transgender People 22 FEB 10
R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 IGLHRC: Turkish Transsexual Activist Sues Istanbul's Beyoglu Police Bureau for Police Abuse 02 JAN 97
R2.1 IGLHRC: Case Dismissed Against Transgender Activists in Turkey 21 OCT 10
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT] [MILITARY]
1.

National

Homosexuality was a known tradition in the era of Ottoman Empire which lasted more than five centuries [R1.3]. It is understood that the law is silent as to homosexuality and that as a consequence consensual sex between same-sex couples has been lawful in Turkey since 1858 [R1.2].


In July 2008, a gay student activist is alleged to have been shot in what is believed to be Turkey's first reported gay "honour killing" carried out by members of his own family [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 10 February 2014, Metin Çiçek, the father and uncles Seyhmus and Mehmut, were jailed for life for the 2012 'honour killing' of 17-year-old gay teenager Rosin Çiçek in the south-east city of Diyarbakir [R2.2].

On 18 February 2013, Judge Mahmut Erdeml in an Istanbul court of the first instance, delivered a landmark ruling saying that gay sex is natural, contradicting a previous ruling by Turkey's supreme court in 2012. The case concerned a trader prosecuted for violating article 262/2 of the Turkish penal code that prohibits owning, trafficking, distributing and publishing 'unnatural sex' videos. However, the Court did find DM guilty of 'unauthorized' selling of porn with a punishment of 8 months imprisonment [R2.1].

R1.3 Qrd.org: Turkey Gay Guide AUG 08
R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Man Flees Turkey After "Honour Killing" of His Gay Activist Boyfriend
R2.2 StarObserver: Life Imprisonment for 'Honour Killing' of Gay Turkish Teenager 21 FEB 14
R2.1 GayStarNews: Turkish court rules gay sex is natural 19 FEB 13
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]
   
   
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 08 January 2013, the Turkish government was reported to have submitted a new draft regulation for the Turkish Armed Forces that retains the article 'unnatural intercourse' which has been used to stigmatize and punish LGBT people [R1.7].

On 27 November 2012, according to media reports, homosexuality has been included as a major offense in the new discipline regulation draft of the Turkish Armed Forces. The punishment for offenders of the "crime", which was defined as "unnatural intimacy" in the draft, will be expulsion from the military [R1.6].

On 26 November 2012, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz was expected to introduce a new penalty regulation draft for the Turkish Armed Forces under which being gay will be considered as a serious offence and reason for dismissal, making the unwritten policy a regulation [R1.5].

On 26 March 2012, gay conscripts seeking to "prove" their homosexuality in order to avoid military service, reportedly must provide explicit photographs with their face visible and showing themselves as the passive partner [R1.4].

In November 2010, the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, denied asking for "photographic" proof that people seeking an exemption from compulsory military service on the grounds of their homosexuality are actually gay [R1.3].

In 1996, the Justice Commission of the Turkish Parliament passed a Bill stating that people who conduct "unnatural sexual intercourse" shall be expelled from the army [R1.2].

It's practically impossible for Turkish men to avoid exposure to military life, and the burden is on them to prove they are unfit for service. Every man between 20 and 41 years old is required to serve at least six months. Exemptions are granted only under two conditions: a mental or physical disability, and homosexuality. Turkey does not recognize the right to conscientious objection [R1.1].

R1.7 GayStarNews: Turkey's new draft army bill still punishes gays and trans 08 JAN 12
R1.6 Hürriyet Daily News: Turkish military to expel gays 27 NOV 12
R1.5 GayStarNews: Murder and being gay listed as expulsion reasons from Turkish army 26 NOV 12
R1.4 PinkNews: Conscripts to Turkish army must 'prove' they’re gay for exemption from military service 26 MAR 12
R1.3 Hürriyet Daily News: Turkish military denies asking for 'photo proof' of homosexuality 19 NOV 10
R1.2 Brother Sister: Army's Sex Life Controlled 08 AUG 96
R1.1 Foreign Policy: Do Ask, Must Tell 04 DEC 10
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In February 2010, the Council of Europe amended an article of its declaration on children's rights after Turkey objected to a specific article alluding to gay marriage. Originally, the article stated,

"Currently, the family [is a concept] composed of different lifestyles and children in Europe grow up in family forms that can change during the life of children."

Following the amendment, however, the article has the added phrase:

"These family forms change from one country to another."

At the same time, a phrase reading, "The relevant articles will be evaluated under the framework of national regulations," was added to relevant subsequent articles [R1.1].

R1.1 Hürriyet Daily News: Turkey objects to gay marriage allusion in council document 23 FEB 10
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 09 October 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of a gay Turkish prisoner who was put in solitary confinement after complaining about bullying from inmates saying that the conditions in which he was held constituted 'inhuman or degrading treatment' in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights and in violation of Article 14 of the ECHR, which protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The Court ordered the Government to pay the prisoner €18,000 ($23,300) in compensation and €4,000 ($5,200) in expenses [C2.3], [D1.2], [R1.1].

C1.3 Judgment: X v. Turkey 24626/09 (in French), 09 OCT 12
D1.2 Press Release: Turkish authorities should not have placed a prisoner in solitary confinement because of his sexual orientation in conditions that did not respect human dignity PDF ECHR 370 (2012) (in English) 185.88kb, 09 OCT 12
R1.1 GayStarNews: European Court finds Turkey guilty of violating rights of gay prisoner 31 OCT 12

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