This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.
In August 2010 Tolgahan Gürsoy killed Ahmet Ö., stabbing him
nine times. He had met Ahmet Ö. in a gay bar, and had gone back
to his house of his own free will.
A local court found Gürsoy guilty of "intentional homicide",
but decided to reduce his sentence from life imprisonment to 10
years on the basis of "undue provocation", since he was trying "to
protect his honour following a sex offer". This reduced sentence
has been upheld by Turkey's Court of Appeal.
Such cases are not uncommon. In a 2011 report on the human
rights of LGBT people in Turkey, Amnesty International expressed
concern that in cases of suspected homophobic hate crimes perpetrators
routinely relied on the defence of "undue provocation", and in many
cases were effectively awarded lower sentences on the basis of the
identity of the victim.
We call upon the Turkish authorities and courts to take measures
to ensure that legal provisions on "undue provocation" are not applied
in a discriminatory fashion, particularly in the case of suspected
homophobic and transphobic hate crimes.