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Turkish prosecutors refuse to shut down gay association

[JURIST] Turkish prosecutors have rejected a demand by Ankara's deputy governor to shut down a new homosexual association. The governor's office urged that the title and purpose of the Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association [official website, English version] violated the Turkish Civil Code, which prohibits associations against law and morality, but prosecutors disagreed. Homosexuality has never been considered a criminal offense in Turkey [JURIST news archive], unlike in many other Muslim countries, but no laws exist to protect gays from discrimination. A protective clause was written into the country's penal code last year in an effort to strengthen Turkey's bid to join the European Union [official website], but it was later removed by Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, according to gay rights activists. The EU has said that Turkey must implement human rights reforms [JURIST report] before it would be admitted to the EU, but has given no specific instructions that gay rights should be included in the changes. Reuters has more.

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