The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will announce its final verdict in the case of a trans man in Turkey who could not get the court permission needed for gender reassignment surgery, on March 10.
The ECtHR will announce its final verdict in relation to the Y.Y. v Turkey case regarding the Article 40 of the Turkish Civil Code on gender reassignment.
What does Article 40 require?
The Article 40 of the Turkish Civil Code stipulates that a court permission must be obtained in order to undergo gender reassignment surgery. According to the article, the permission can only be given if the person is over 18 and unmarried, and has the official medical board reports to prove that the operation is psychologically needed and that the ability to reproduce is permanently lost.
Proof for being “unable to reproduce” brought a legal deadlock
The applicant who wants to be registered as male and get the permission for gender reassignment surgery applied to a Court of First Instance in 2005. The next year, he got two different psychiatric expert reports in February and April, stating that he has to continue his life as a man. However, following a report in May stating that the person still has the ability to reproduce, the court ruled that the applicant does not fulfill the requirements of the Article 40.
How is possible then to fulfill the article without even getting the permission for the surgery to lose the ability to reproduce?
The Court of Appeals stated in a May 2007 verdict that the decision by the Court of First Instance does not have a mistake. It also rejected the applicant’s request for a correction in the ruling in October 2007.
Y.Y. v Turkey
The applicant took the case to the ECtHR in 2008, complaining about the content and the interpretation of the law. In the proceeding which started 2 years after, he underlined that the relevant requirement of the law can only be fulfilled by a surgery, leaving himself in an inconclusive situation.
Although it was proven by the medical reports that the applicant identifies as a man and his physiology does not fit his gender identity, it was not enough for the court. The applicant claims that his right to privacy, designated in the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, is violated.
“If accepted, the case might lead to an amendment in the law”
The applicant’s lawyer, Ali Nezhet Bozlu, explained the possible outcomes of the case to kaosGL.org:
The legal impact depends on whether the ECtHR will accept the case or not and their justifications. If it is accepted, The Committee of the Ministers of the Council of Europe will monitor the implementation of the decision and maybe the case will be mentioned in Turkey’s Progress Reports. It might lead to a discussion to amend the law. But such amendments might not happen in a short time.
Translation: LGBTI News Turkey
Source: Kaos GL