Hornet App Set for Return to Türkiye Following Legal Victory in Turkish Constitutional Court

Hornet App Set for Return to Türkiye Following Legal Victory in Turkish Constitutional Court

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2.5 years after being banned in Türkiye (fka Turkey), Hornet has won a court case at the country’s Supreme Court, in a big win for the LGBTQ community there.

LOS ANGELES, Calif, February 14, 2024 — Hornet, the world’s queer tech platform, has announced that the Hornet app will return into the Turkish Apple App Store, after it has won a stunning court case (number 2021/53680) at the Turkish Constitutional Court, overruling a lower instance court’s handling of the ban and reaffirming Hornet’s freedom of expression and the right to effective remedy.

Hornet was removed by Apple from the Turkish App Store on August 6, 2021, in response to a Turkish government’s attempt at suppressing and silencing LGBTQ voices within its borders. On February 25, 2022, Hornet was reinstated in Apple’s App Store as a new app called Hornet Stories, custom-built for Türkiye for their LGBTQ userbase, while the original app remained blocked.

Hornet, which boasts more than 3 million users inside Turkey, has long been the backbone of the country’s queer community. As the only remaining digital platform for the nation’s LGBTQ population, users rely on Hornet for the latest in LGBTQ-centric news and health resources in addition to personal connections.

Turkey, which changed its official name to Türkiye in 2022, has been cracking down on LGBTQ society for over a decade. In September of 2013, the popular hookup app Grindr was banned by the Turkish government. The years since have seen censorship of gay TV characters, boycotts of LGBTQ-friendly brands, government officials who refer to LGBTQ people as “freaks” and “degenerates,” arrests of student organizers, and crackdowns on Pride parades by armed riot police. 

In August 2020, access to Hornet’s web presence at hornet.com was blocked by the Turkish government, citing the same anti-LGBTQ court order, and it remains blocked until today.

“We are thrilled to see the Turkish Constitutional Court affirming the constitutional rights of Hornet, its userbase, and the entire LGBTQ community, in their quest to freely express themselves“, says Hornet Founder and CEO Christof Wittig. “What we are seeing take place in Türkiye — a gradual erosion of free speech, consistently queerphobic language from the government’s highest offices, apparently in violation of the country’s constitution. is nothing short of disappointing.  We feel encouraged that the work Hornet does as the world’s queer social network is more vital today than ever before and we will continue to meet the needs of our community.”

About Hornet Networks

Hornet Networks is the world’s leading queer tech company, providing a digital home for LGBTQ people to safely connect with each other — anytime, anywhere. Amplifying the radical, affirmative power of the queer community with cutting-edge technology, Hornet is a queer social network serving over 40 million users worldwide. Hornet’s wide range of features from video to chat make it easy and safe for queer people to share experiences with a community that understands and validates their lives. More information at hornet.com

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