No More Grindr in Turkey

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday September 11, 2013

Gay and bisexual men looking to use their mobile phones to hookup in Turkey will have to consider another dating app besides Grindr.

Turkey's LGBT group Kaos GL reports that the country has censored the app as of yesterday evening. Istanbul Anatolia 14th Criminal Court of Peace blocked Grindr as a "protection measure." The group's lawyer, Hayriye Kara, said the decision to ban Grindr may have something to do with "general morality," which is a vague term often used against trans sex workers.

Grindr's website is also censored and is blocked by Telecommunications Communications Presidency. Gay and bisexual men trying to access the app's site will get the following message:

"The decision no 2013/406 dated 26/08/2013, which is given about this website ( within the context of protection measure, of '?stanbul Anadolu 14. Sulh CM' (?stanbul Anatolia 14th Criminal Court of Peace) has been implemented by 'Telekomünikasyon ?leti?im Ba?kanl???' (Telecommunications Communication Presidency)."

Kara also discussed Grindr's banning with the Huffington Post.

"The court decision is not published online and so we have no access to the procuration and therefore do not yet know what was the reason for the censorship," Kara said. "It is most likely related to 'general morality,' an ambiguous term used often against trans sex workers."

Ömer Akpinar, a gay rights activist in Turkey, told HuffPo that blocking Grindr is "the last step in arbitrary limitations of freedom in Turkey."

"Any lifestyle or identity, which does not fit to the state's ideology, is being deprived of their rights and freedoms," Akpinar added.