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Written declaration No. 650 | Doc. 14488 | 09 May 2018

Turkey must restore the right to freedom of expression and assembly to LGBTI persons

Signatories: Mr Mogens JENSEN, Denmark, SOC ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Luise AMTSBERG, Germany, SOC ; Lord Donald ANDERSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Jason AZZOPARDI, Malta, EPP/CD ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Mr Ľuboš BLAHA, Slovak Republic, SOC ; Ms Tamara BLAZINA, Italy, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Ervin BUSHATI, Albania, SOC ; Mr José CEPEDA, Spain, SOC ; Ms Jette CHRISTENSEN, Norway, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Vernon COAKER, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Paolo CORSINI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Seán CROWE, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Jennifer DE TEMMERMAN, France, NR ; Mr Petter EIDE, Norway, UEL ; Ms Edite ESTRELA, Portugal, SOC ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Albane GAILLOT, France, NR ; Mr Etienne GRECH, Malta, SOC ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Maria GUZENINA, Finland, SOC ; Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Ms Susanna HUOVINEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Ms Lotta JOHNSSON FORNARVE, Sweden, UEL ; Ms Susan Elan JONES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Niklas KARLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Ioanneta KAVVADIA, Greece, UEL ; Ms Colette KELLEHER, Ireland, SOC ; Ms Filiz KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Claude KERN, France, ALDE ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Florian KRONBICHLER, Italy, SOC ; Mr Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ, Turkey, UEL ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr Jérôme LAMBERT, France, SOC ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Ms Yuliya LOVOCHKINA, Ukraine, SOC ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Saša MAGAZINOVIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SOC ; Mr Emanuel MALLIA, Malta, SOC ; Baroness Doreen MASSEY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Georgios MAVROTAS, Greece, SOC ; Ms Kerry McCARTHY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Marianne MIKKO, Estonia, SOC ; Mr Víctor NAUDI ZAMORA, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Johan NISSINEN, Sweden, NR ; Mr Rasmus NORDQVIST, Denmark, UEL ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Henk OVERBEEK, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Paulo PISCO, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Georgios PSYCHOGIOS, Greece, UEL ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Andreas SCHIEDER, Austria, SOC ; Ms Elisabeth SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Angela SMITH, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Søren SØNDERGAARD, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Bertrand SORRE, France, NR ; Mr David STELLINI, Malta, EPP/CD ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Violeta TOMIĆ, Slovenia, UEL ; Mr Manuel TORNARE, Switzerland, SOC ; Lord Don TOUHIG, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Martin WHITFIELD, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Markus WIECHEL, Sweden, NR

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.

On November 9, President Erdoğan, in a television speech, criticised a municipality run by the main opposition party for a policy supporting LGBTI persons. Nine days later, the Ankara governor banned all LGBTI-related events in the province for an indefinite period, including a film festival supported by the German Embassy. This followed an editorial in a popular daily newspaper entitled “Support for the perverts by the German Embassy”. The governorship listed “social sensitivities and sensibilities” and “protection of public health and morality” amongst the reasons for the ban.

Film showings and discussion panels in some other towns have been shut down. There has also been a marked increase in hate speech against LGBTI people in the media and online.

Recent years have seen the banning of all public demonstrations in support of LGBTI rights in Turkey. These latest developments take Turkey one step closer to the complete suppression of the right to expression and assembly in support of LGBTI persons.

We are gravely concerned at this growing intolerance towards LGBTI persons. We call upon the authorities to ensure that the Ankara ban is reversed immediately and that the right of LGBTI persons to freedom of expression and assembly is restored.