Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum, Refugees
  Censorship, Free Speech
Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Defamation, Insult
Fostering Children
Gay Rights
Gender Identity
Hate Crimes
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Transgender, Transsexual
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References


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


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 Gay Iranian Denied Refugee Status by UN 25 JUL 08 Gay Iranian Granted Refugee Status by UN 17 JUL 08
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References


On 13 September 2018 , it was reported that the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) fined city of Bursa Broadcaster AS TV 17,000 Turkish liras for showing music video ''Secrets'' by Pink - that featured ''erotic dance figures of a homosexual nature'' - during hours when children and young people could watch and be negatively influenced [R1.1].


Cities & Towns

On 24 November 2017, the Beyoglu district governor's office reportedly banned a one-day festival that had been set to showcase short films on gay issues on Saturday, claiming the event would not be allowed to take place, in a bid to ''protect public order and safety, others' rights and freedoms, and to prevent crime'' [R2.5].

On 19 November 2017, it was reported that the Ankara governor's office had banned all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights groups in its capital city to protect ''public security'' for an ''indefinite'' period with effect from 18 November [R2.4].

On 01 July 2017, it was reported that the Istanbul Governor's Office they will not allow the eighth Trans Pride March to take place Sunday, citing public order and the safety of participants and tourists. Last week, the governor's office banned the LGBTI pride parade for the third year [R2.3].

On 24 June 2017, it was reported that the Istanbul Governor's Office had banned an LGBTI pride parade scheduled to take place in Taksim on 25 June, citing security and public order concerns [R2.2].

On 17 June 2016, it was reported that the governor of the Turkish city of Istanbul had banned gay, lesbian and transgender individuals from holding pride parades at their usual venue, citing security concerns, disallowing marches departing from Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square ''for the safety of our citizens and the participants'' [R2.1].


Courts & Tribunals

On 22 November 2016, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously ruled that the seizure and confiscation of all copies of a magazine published by the Ankara-based LGBT rights group Kaos GL, for more than five years, violated freedom of expression [C3.3], [R3.2].

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 [R3.1].

R1.1 Reuters: Turkey fines TV channel for Pink's video with dancing of 'homosexual nature' 13 SEP 18
R2.5 i24: Istanbul district bans gay film festival 25 NOV 17
R2.4 TheIndependent: Turkey bans all LGBT events in capital to 'protect public security' 19 NOV 17
R2.3 CTVnews 01 July 2017 | The Associated Press Turkish authorities ban transgender rights march in Istanbul 01 JUL 17
R2.2 TurkishMinute 24 June 2017 Istanbul Governor's Office bans LGBTI pride parade 24 JUN 17
R2.1 EdgeMediaNetwork: Turkey Bans Gay Pride Parade in Istanbul, Citing Security 17 JUN 16
2. Courts & Tribunals
C3.3 Judgment (in French): Case of Kaos GL v. Turkey 4982/07 22 NOV 16
R3.2 HurriyetDailyNews: Euro court rules freedom of expression violation in Turkish LGBT rights group magazine seizure
R3.1 PinkNews: Court bans access to gay dating app Grindr as a 'protection measure' 12 SEP 13
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References

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

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

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


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].


Courts & Tribunals

On 29 December 2015, an Istanbul Court ruled that Halil Ibrahim Dinçda was discriminated against by the Turkish Football Federation when a report of his exemption from military service due to his sexual orientation became known. The TFF said his dismissal was because those who do not complete their national military service due to 'diseases' cannot be a referee. The Court ordered the TFF to pay TL 23,000 ($7,900) in compensation [R2.6].

On 30 January 2015, it was reported that Judge Gönü Doāan ruled that Ahmet Karagüney, the owner of the Galatasara hamam, Turkish bath, in Istanbul is to pay 3,000 Turkish Liras for discriminating against a transgender woman by denying her entry in violation of Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Code that makes discrimination against people based on language, religion, gender, color, political thought, philosophical belief, sect or alike unlawful [R2.5].

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].


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
R2.6 DailySabahTurkey: Turkey's first openly gay referee Dinçda who was sacked wins lawsuit against football federation 29 DEC 15
R2.5 HurriyetDailyNews: Turkish court fines hamam owner for denying entry of transgender woman 30 JAN 15
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 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



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].


Cities & Towns

On 01 July 2017, it was reported that the Istanbul Governor's Office they will not allow the eighth Trans Pride March to take place Sunday, citing public order and the safety of participants and tourists. Last week, the governor's office banned the LGBTI pride parade for the third year [R1.3].


Courts & Tribunals

On 30 November 2017, the Constitutional Court cancelled a controversial law requiring transgender individuals seeking sex change surgery to prove they are ''unable to procreate''. The verdict stems from an appeal by an applicant whose petition to obtain a female ID was rejected as she did not undergo a sex change surgery [R3.6].

On 10 March 2015, the European Court of Human Rights, in a unanimous judgment, ruled that a law requiring trans people be permanently infertile before they undergo treatment is incompatible with human rights. The ruling only specifically relates transgender man Y.Y. in Turkey though it may have wider implications [D3.5], [C3.4], [R3.3].

On 30 January 2015, it was reported that Judge Gönü Doāan ruled that Ahmet Karagüney, the owner of the Galatasara hamam, Turkish bath, in Istanbul is to pay 3,000 Turkish Liras for discriminating against a transgender woman by denying her entry in violation of Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Code that makes discrimination against people based on language, religion, gender, color, political thought, philosophical belief, sect or alike unlawful [R3.2].

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 [R3.1].

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
3. Cities & Towns
R2.1 CTVnews 01 July 2017 | The Associated Press Turkish authorities ban transgender rights march in Istanbul 01 JUL 17
3. Courts & Tribunals
R3.6 DailySabah: Landmark court ruling a victory for transgender citizens of Turkey 30 NOV 17
D3.5 Press Release (in English): Refusal to authorise transsexual to have access to gender reassignment surgery breached right to respect for private life ECHR 075 (2015) PDF 103.60kb, 10 MAR 15
C3.4 Judgment (in French): Affaire Y.Y. v. Turquie No. 14793/08 PDF 451.27kb, 10 MAR 15
R3.3 GayStarNews: Europe ends law requiring trans people be sterile before seeking treatment
R3.2 HurriyetDailyNews: Turkish court fines hamam owner for denying entry of transgender woman 30 JAN 15
R3.1 IGLHRC: Case Dismissed Against Transgender Activists in Turkey 21 OCT 10
Hate Crime, Hate Speech Legislation/Cases/References

Courts & Tribunals

On 08 May 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that calling members of the LGBT community “perverts” constitutes hate speech [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Judgment: Sinem Hun No. 2013/5356 (in Turkish) PDF 1.61MB, 08 MAY 14
R1.1 PinkNews: Highest court makes first acknowledgment of homophobic speech as hate crime 18 JUL 14
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References


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].

On 04 August 2016, it was reported that the headless, mutilated body of Muhammad Wisam Sankari was found in Yenikapi, a central district, on 25 July. No arrests have been made [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].


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].

R1.4 Turkey Gay Guide AUG 08
R1.3 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.2 BBCnews: Gay Syrian man beheaded and mutilated in Turkey 04 AUG 16
R1.1 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


On 17 November 2015, it was reported that under amended pre-draft military regulations a homosexual can choose to disclose or not to disclose his identity. If he does, this declaration will constitute the sole basis for the doctor's decision on the potential conscriptee's draft exemption. Previously they had to prove their homosexuality by undergoing nude examinations and submitting photos of themselves engaged in homosexual intercourse. The 'Physical Capabilities Regulation' defines homosexuality as 'a psychosexual disorder' [R1.8].

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].


Courts & Tribunals

On 26 February 2018, it was reported that the Constitutional Court upheld a ruling that will allow the dismissal of members Turkey's armed forces on the grounds of ''unnatural intimacy'' [R2.1].

R1.8 AL-monitor: Gays seeking military exemption in Turkey no longer need to provide visual proof of their homosexuality 17 NOV 15
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
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.1 Ahval 26 February 2018 Turkish court upholds ruling to dismiss gays from the army 26 FEB 17
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References


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

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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