The Case of Lambda Istanbul
THE ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION WILL BE COMPLETED SOON…
“Lambda, Istanbul is the largest queer liberation group in Turkey . It was formed by a small number of gays and lesbians as a result of a police ban on Christopher Street Day celebrations in 1993. Since then, Lambda-Istanbul has grown in membership and aims to raise its voice on behalf of the gay communities in Istanbul.”(1)
During the last month according to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Istanbul police raided the centre, accordingly:
“On April 7, between twelve and fifteen men in plain clothes entered the Lambda Istanbul Cultural Center, identifying themselves as members of the Financial and Moral Police; an officer from the City Department of Associations accompanied them. The police presented a warrant, but members of Lambda Istanbul told Human Rights Watch that they were not allowed to review it thoroughly. Police refused to answer questions about why they were raiding the Center.
The attorney for Lambda Istanbul subsequently found the warrant was issued under article 227 of the Criminal Code, whereby ‘[a]ny person who encourages another person to become a prostitute, or facilitates prostitution, or acts as a go-between or provides a place for such purpose is punished with imprisonment from two years up to four years, and also a punitive fine up to three thousand days.’ Beyoglu Prosecutor Serdar Gur had demanded and received the warrant from the Magistrates’ Court of Beyoglu No. 2. The attorney also told Human Rights Watch that he received information that Lambda Istanbul had been under surveillance since the beginning of March.”(2)
On May 29th, 2008, a local court in Istanbul announced its judgement for Lambdaistanbul LGBT Solidarity Association to be shut down. The lawyers of the Lambda will appeal on the Supreme Court of Appeals.
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