Turkish court rejects lawsuit to shut down We Will Stop Femicide Platform over ‘immorality’ charges

The Turkish Court rejected the lawsuit filed against the We Will Stop Femicide Platform with the demand for its closure due to “carrying out immoral activities” in the fourth hearing. Two women were detained before the hearing because they unfurled LGBTI+ flags.

Ferhat Yaşar / Gazete Duvar

The 13th Court of First Instance of Istanbul on Sept. 13 dismissed the lawsuit aimed at shutting down the We Will Stop Femicide Platform on the grounds of alleged "immoral activities” during its fourth hearing. 

The platform founded in 2010 is a prominent advocacy group that works to combat gender-based violence and femicides in the country. It became one of the government’s targets after the crackdown on feminist and LGBTI+ movements in the recent years. 

The families of the murdered women also attended the trial. Many journalists, lawyers, bar association representatives, representatives of NGOs and politicians including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu also watched the hearing.

At the beginning of the hearing, the police detained two women waiting in front of the courthouse for unfurling LGBTI+ flags.

Relatives of the murdered women also gave testimonies at the hearing. The families said that when their daughters were murdered, the murderers were either released or not punished, but thanks to the platform’s effort they got the punishment what they deserved. 

The families added that the the women from the platform was with them while the state was not on their side. 

The platform's lawyer stated, "To date, the accusation of violating morality and the law has not been concretized either during the investigation or during the trial. We demand that the case be dismissed, but we also know that this is a political case."

After the judge's decision to reject the lawsuit, slogans of "we will stop the femicide" were chanted in the courthouse.

The Istanbul Governorship Directorate of Associations in 2018 had applied to the Public Prosecutor of Istanbul to dissolve the platform.

The 13th Court of First Instance of Istanbul in 2021 accepted the lawsuit on the grounds that “the full extent of the case has shown a display of illegal and immoral actions against the cause and regulations of the association, and disobedience of article 30 of the Law on Associations which decrees that associations are not allowed to pursue activities that do not serve the mission stated in their code of conduct.”

(English version by Can Bodrumlu)