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Turkey’s top court upholds jail sentence for "unnatural" porn

Istanbul, April 21 () - Turkey’s Constitutional Court has upheld a law that stipulates a prison sentence for those who store “oral, anal, group, gay or lesbian” porn on the grounds that they are “unnatural,” Turkish media reported...

Turkey’s top court upholds jail sentence for "unnatural" porn

Istanbul, April 21 () - Turkey’s Constitutional Court has upheld a law that stipulates a prison sentence for those who store “oral, anal, group, gay or lesbian” porn on the grounds that they are “unnatural,” Turkish media reported...

21 Nisan 2015 Salı 08:13
Turkey’s top court upholds jail sentence for "unnatural" porn
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Istanbul, April 21 () - Turkey’s Constitutional Court has upheld a law that stipulates a prison sentence for those who store “oral, anal, group, gay or lesbian” porn on the grounds that they are “unnatural,” Turkish media reported on April 20.

The legal saga began when police raided a business in the western province of Aydın and confiscated a flash disk in which porn footage was found, according to a report in the daily Milliyet.

Prosecutors asked the court to jail the owner one to four years for “storing” footage showing people sexually engaging in “unnatural” ways.

The 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance, however, concluded that several articles of Turkey’s constitution, which protects personal rights, might contradict the Turkish Penal Law, which is frequently used to limit those rights.

Constitutional rights vs. criminal laws

When assessing the case, the court specifically pointed to the constitutional articles safeguarding a person’s “inviolable and inalienable rights,” including “the right to protect and improve his/her corporeal and spiritual existence,” as well as the right to privacy and education.

Given these principles, the judge then asked the Constitutional Court to repeal the Turkish Penal Law’s Article 226/4, which stipulates jail terms for those who store “audio, text and video material of unnatural sexual intercourse.”

The Constitutional Court, however, rejected the lower court’s demand with 12 votes for against four nays in its ruling published in the Official Gazette on April 19. The top court ruled that the laws criminalize not the “sexual act itself,” but its promulgation in society.

The Constitutional Court judges who objected the ruling, on the other hand, argued that current Turkish laws allow “disproportionate intervention to privacy and is against the order of democratic society,” violating the principles of the European Court of Human Rights.

Serdar Kaleli and Serdar Özgüldür, two of the judges, stressed that a person who stores such footage on a single DVD at his or her home would be jailed just like a person who copies and sells millions of similar DVDs.

 

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