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Access to gay organizations' sites barred in Parliament

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News | 9/20/2011 12:00:00 AM |

The Turkish Parliament’s administration has barred access to the official websites of gay organizations Kaos GL and LambdaIstanbul, requiring a written application from deputies who wish to enter the sites.

The Turkish Parliament’s administration has barred access to the official websites of gay organizations Kaos GL and LambdaIstanbul, requiring a written application from deputies who wish to enter the sites.

“There are two sides to this scandal: First, it points to the lack of recognition in Turkey regarding the reality of homosexuality. Second, the inability to access the official website of a legal association established in the Turkish Republic from an institution that represents the national will,” said Ali Erol, coordinator for Kaos GL.

When deputies in Parliament attempt to log in to the official websites of Kaos GL and LambdaIstanbul, they come across a number of warnings such as “limited access” and “homosexuality,” according to daily Akşam’s report, which was also verified by Hürriyet Daily News’ Ankara correspondents.

Another statement on the same page read, “Fill out the appropriate form if you need [to enter the site] for your work,” when deputies tried to enter the websites www.kaosgl.com and www.lambdaIstanbul.com. The form requires applicants to fill in such information as their name, last name, registration numbers, position in Parliament, phone number and why they are requesting access to the sites.

“The official website of our association is not on the black list of the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate [TİB]. The blocking of access in Parliament amounts to a discriminatory practice and censuring,” Erol said.

“Our program for Internet security automatically filters sites that contain such banned words as ‘pornography,’ ‘gambling’ and ‘homosexuality.’ There are no bans or censuring. Any willing deputy can enter these sites by filling out the form,” an official from the Parliament’s Office of the Secretary-General said. 

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