Turkey outlaws ‘platform’ and ‘council’ from association names

Turkey outlaws ‘platform’ and ‘council’ from association names

ISTANBUL - Radikal
Turkey outlaws ‘platform’ and ‘council’ from association names

Words including 'platform' and 'council' have been outlawed from association names following the Gezi protests.

Turkish activists will now have to play “taboo” when naming a new association. Authorities have forbidden the use of a number of words, including “platform” and “council,” in the names of associations and NGOs in the aftermath of last year’s Gezi protests, according to the statement from the Istanbul provincial directorate of associations.

Throughout the last months, many activists that applied to found their own association were warned by the directorate that they were unable to pick what seemed at first glance like neutral words describing the intrinsic nature of their group, such as platform, council, chamber, or even institute.

But according to a statement signed by Istanbul deputy Gov. Günay Özdemir and obtained by Radikal, an amendment dated July 2013, considered the use of those words inadequate, as they allegedly contain “meanings that exceed their purpose.”

“The practice is not new and based on a decision from the Directorate of Associations dated July 29, 2013. It has been foreseen that words that can connote legal personalities other than the association and load the association’s name with meanings that exceed its purpose [academia, institute, chamber, corporation, platform, council, etc.] will not be used,” the statement said.

The Gezi Park events were sparked after the Taksim Solidarity Platform, a local NGO which serves as an umbrella of tens of associations, launched local scaled demonstrations to prevent the destruction of trees in Istanbul’s central park as part of a redevelopment plan.

The platform quickly received nationwide recognition, as protests spread across Turkey after repeated police brutality on the activists sparked public outrage.

The timing of the decision shows that it was made when the Taksim Solidarity Platform was in the spotlight.