The Istanbul governor’s office is trying to close down the Turkish gay rights group Lambda Istanbul.
The office claims the group’s objectives — and even its name — are “against the law and morality.”
The Provincial Associations Directorate of the Governor’s Office, which oversees nongovernmental organizations, says Lambda’s projects violate a Civil Code article that says, “no association may be founded for purposes against law and morality,” a constitutional clause that says “[t]he state shall take the necessary measures and establish the necessary organization to ensure the peace and welfare of the family” and a law that authorizes suspension of organizations that contravene “public morality.”
The office also says the name “Lambda Istanbul” is illegal because “lambda” is not a Turkish word.
A hearing on the matter was held Oct. 18 in the Beyoglu Sütlüce Court of First Instance No. 5, and the case was continued until Jan. 31.
The judge appointed a legal expert from Istanbul University to determine if Lambda’s claim that it is not violating any laws is valid.