A Turkish court has ordered the closure of a LGBT organisation on the basis that it was engaged in ‘illegal activities’.
According to Gaymiddleeast.com, the application to close the group ‘RAINBOW’ was brought to the courts by the Bursa municipality which claimed that the organisation was ‘immoral’ and involved in activities such as prostitution.
Activists from the group said that they have been repeatedly harassed by the municipality and the authorities’ true motivation is simple homophobia.
They cite previous cases in which other LGBT groups have been taken to court for reasons such as ‘housing illegal activities’ and ‘violating values and family structures’.
In 2006 Lambda Istanbul was evicted from its premises as the landlady was not happy with the fact that the organisation was promoting LGBT rights. The courts subsequently allowed it to remain.
RAINBOW said that it would appeal the court order and would continue to do its work during the appeal process.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey but there is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships and LGBT people still face social and legal discrimination.