Bylaws of the Association
Name and Location
Article 1- The name of the association is Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association. Its headquarters is in Istanbul. Its short name is Spod. The association may open branches within Turkey or abroad.
Article 2- Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association shall work to create data concerning violence, oppression, ostracism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to end all kinds of discrimination. Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association shall focus primarily on economy, social rights and social policy, but will encompass all human rights within its work field, without distinguishing between them.
Article 3- In line with its principles of justice and equality, Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association shall cultivate and apply a rights-based social policy approach to discrimination and ostracism based on belief, language, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, lifestyle or social status.
Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association shall equally advocate the rights of individuals of any kind of identity within the context of gender, and the rights of individuals who suffer from violence and discrimination without having defined oneself under any identity.
The association shall equally advocate gender identities that were not delineated in legal documents, or the rights of individuals who suffer from violence and discrimination without having defined oneself under any identity.
The association shall protect and develop the rights of individuals whose economic and social rights are discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It shall work within this context in line with national and international agreements and principles of the social state, in health, education, shelter, transportation, work life, employment and culture.
The association shall have a holistic understanding of poverty of human needs and ostracism, and creates projects to overcome them. It shall conduct national and international lobbying and reporting activities to remind the humanitarian responsibilities of states and international establishments.
Article 4- For the Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association international human rights standards and norms shall be the basis, and the association shall evaluate these standards and norms with new and developing rights categories and current interpretations. It advocates a holistic approach to human rights and refuses a hierarchy of rights. Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association believes in the universal and unitary qualities of human rights.
The association shall work within the principles of transparency and accountability.
In all its work and its relationship with for-profit organisations, the association shall always be on the side of labour.
Article 5- The association shall use every legal means for its purpose.
It conducts research to enable and develop activities. Results of such research shall be published through all possible means and the association shall conduct work to end human rights violations.
It organises, independently or with other organisations, educational and cultural activities, such as courses, seminars, conferences, symposiums, exhibitions, festivals, plays, screenings, meetings, workshops, conventions and panels.
It collects all information, documents and publications that are relevant to its purpose, creates a documentation centre, and shall publish newspapers, magazines, books, brochures, websites, newsletters, social media pages, VCDs, DVDs to announce its activities, alongside work and information newsletters to distribute to its members.
It shall research, inspect, develop and conduct studies to attain its goals, determine requests and suggestions, and publish and distribute these through all sorts of media.
It follows legal proceedings that are relevant to its purpose, and despatch representatives to hearings and meetings.
It publishes and distributes all sorts of audiovisual or printed material to attain its goals.
It shall provide a healthy working environment to attain its goals, and shall provide necessary equipment, materials and stationary.
It organises fundraising events in line with legal regulations, and accept donations from abroad and from Turkey.
It establishes financial, commercial and industrial establishments in order to provide revenue needed to attain its goals.
It organises dinner parties, concerts, balls, plays, exhibitions, sports events, tours, fairs, entertainment activities, contests, picnics, cocktails, occasions, etc. to develop relations between its members or to provide revenue for the association.
It shall buy, sell, rent, hire real estate and property. It purchases real estate and does all sorts of construction and restoration work on these properties.
It shall found commissions and workgroups with its members or experts, who shall work within the law to attain its purpose.
If needed, it shall establish all sorts of facilities that foundations and associations may establish with a permit.
It shall carry out international activities, become a member of international associations and organisations, work together and cooperate with these organisations.
If needed, it cooperates with public institutions to attain its purpose, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Relationships of Associations and Foundations with Public Institutions, Law No. 5072
It shall call, through all means possible, all governments to abide by the rule of law, and to recognise and ratify human rights standards and norms.
It shall build platforms, coalitions, coordinations and other legal partnerships with other associations or foundations, unions, and other non-governmental organisations to carry out common goals.
The association shall conduct all sorts of legal work and activities to attain its purpose.
Membership and Admission
Article 6- Every natural person, who has the legal capacity to act, has the qualifications set by the regulations, and accepts the association's purpose and principles, may become a member. However natural persons of foreign citizenship are required to have a residence permit in Turkey. Honorary membership is not bound by this requirement.
Applications of admission must be made in writing to the chair of the association. The Board of Directors makes a decision regarding the application to either accept or refuse within 30 days, and informs the applicant in writing. Accepted applications are added to the registry.
Applicants who are accepted by the Board of Directors and the founders of the association are full members of the association.
The Board of Directors may suggest names who provide significant material or moral support for the association for honorary memberships, who are then granted this title by the General Assembly.
No one shall be forced to become or remain a member of the association. Every member has the right to voluntary resignation of membership in writing.
When branches of the association are established, copies of the registry of members shall be sent to these branches. New applications of admission shall be made to the branches. Admissions and removals of membership shall be made by the branches' boards of directors, and reported in writing to the head office within 30 days.
Resignation and Termination of Membership
Article 7- Every member has the right to resign from membership, provided that it is done in writing. Resignation of membership occurs as soon as member's letter of resignation reaches the Board of Directors. Resignation does not cancel the member's debts to the association.
The following are grounds for termination of membership:
a) Behaviour against the association's bylaws and core values.
b) Failing to pay membership fees within three months of registration, or, for members who have paid for the first year in full, within two years, despite written warnings.
c) Failing to abide by the decisions of the association.
d) Losing qualifications for membership.
e) Resorting to violence or advocating violence in private or social life.
f) Making the association liable without authority.
Should there be a claim that either of the above has come to pass, the Board of Directors makes the final decision on termination of membership. The member may appeal this decision within 30 days after being notified. Individuals whose membership is terminated shall be erased from the registry and shall not lay claim on the association's assets.
Article 8- The association shall keep balance sheets and operating ledgers. Income and Expense Statements
Article 9- Revenue is collected with receipts. When revenue is collected via banks, bank statements and extracts will substitute receipts.
Expenses are documented by invoices and receipts. However a note of expense will be provided for payments that fall under Article 94 of Income Tax Law, and an expense voucher for other expenses that do not fall under the said Article.
The Board of Directors chooses the person(s) who will collect money for the association, and determines the duration of this duty.
Authorisation papers for the persons who will collect money for the association must be filed with the authority on associations before they can start collecting money.
Article 10- Revenue sources of the association are as follows:
1) Membership fees: Members pay 10 TL as entrance fee, and 10 TL per month. The General Assembly has the authority to decrease or increase these fees.
2) Branch fees: 50% of the membership fees collected by the association's branches are sent to the head office every month.
3) Donations made by natural and legal persons.
4) Revenue from activities organised by the association, such as tea parties, dinner parties, tours, plays, concerts, sports events and conferences.
5) Revenue from the association's assets.
6) Donations collected in accordance with fundraising regulations.
7) Revenue from commercial enterprises of the association.
8) Deposit interest, repurchase agreements, bonds and other deposit revenue.
9) Other revenue.
Keeping the Documentation for Income and Expenses
Article 11- Receipts, expenses and other documents except books are kept for five years in correct order of their numbers and dates, with respect to the duration mentioned in regulations.
Article 12- Organs of the association are as follows:
1- General Assembly.
2- Board of Directors.
3- Supervisory Board.
Duties and Powers of the General Assembly
Article 13- The duties and powers of the General Assembly are as follows: The following issues are decided by the General Assembly.
1) Selection of the organs.
2) Changes in the bylaws.
3) Evaluation of reports by the board of directors and the supervisory board, discharge of the board of directors.
4) Evaluation and confirmation, with or without changes, of the budget prepared by the board of directors.
5) Inspection and justifiable discharge of the other organs of the association.
6) Evaluation and resolution of appeals against rejection or termination of membership decisions made by the board of directors.
7) Authorising the board of directors to purchase or sell real estate for the association.
8) Evaluation and confirmation, with or without changes, of the regulations regarding association activities prepared by the board of directors.
9) Determining the wages, including subsidies, expenses and compensations of the heads and members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board, who do not work as civil servants, and allowances and expenses for members who are assigned duties.
10) Decision to join and secede from a federation.
11) Decision to open branches, and authorising the board of directors to execute necessary proceedings regarding new branches.
12) Establishing a foundation.
13) Dissolving the association.
14) Evaluation and resolution of other suggestions by the board of directors.
15) As the association's highest authority, transaction of all other business that were not assigned to another organ of the association.
16) Transaction of all other business that is assigned to the General Assembly in the bylaws alongside supervision and, when necessary, termination of all other organs of the association.
Formation of the General Assembly and Time of Meeting
Article 14- General Assembly is the highest decision making authority, and it consists of the registered members of the association.
1) The ordinary General Assembly shall convene within the timeframe stated in the bylaws.
2) The extraordinary General Assembly shall convene when the Board of Directors or the Supervisory Board sees fit or due to a written petition by 1/5 of the members, within thirty days.
Ordinary General Assembly convenes every two years. The Board of Directors will determine the place and time of the meeting.
The Board of Directors calls the General Assembly to meeting. Ordinary General Assembly is done in March.
If the Board of Directors fails to call the General Assembly to meeting, a member can file with a justice of the peace, who will assign three members to call the General Assembly to meeting.
Invitation to Meeting
Article 15- The Board of Directors prepares the list of members who have the right to attend the General Assembly according to the association's bylaws. Members with this right shall be invited at least fifteen days before the meeting by snail mail, e-mail or by a newspaper ad that announces the day, time, place and the order of business. If the quorum is not present at the meeting, the day, time and place of the second meeting will be announced. The time between two meetings cannot be less than seven days, and more than sixty days.
If the meeting is postponed because of a reason other than absence of quorum, members shall be notified in accordance with the method of first invitation, including the reasons for the postponement. The second meeting shall convene within six months of the date of postponement. Members are invited to the second meeting in accordance with the rules mentioned in the first paragraph.
General Assembly may only be postponed once.
Methods of Meeting, Voting and Decision Making, and Decisions Made Without Meetings or Invitations
A) Method of Meeting The General Assembly convenes with the absolute majority of the member with the right to attend. It convenes with a 2/3 quorum to change the bylaws or to dissolve the association. If the meeting is postponed because the quorum is not present, there will be no stipulation of a quorum for the second meeting. However the attendance to this meeting may not be less than double the number of the total members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board.
A list of the member with the right to attend the General Assembly shall be present at the meeting venue. IDs of the members are checked by the Board of Directors or by people authorised by the Board of Directors. Members are required to sign across their names in the list before entering the venue.
Those who do not sign the list and those who do not have the right to attend the General Assembly are not allowed in the meeting venue. They might by seated in another section alongside non-members to observe the General Assembly meeting.
If the quorum is present, this is mentioned in the minutes and the Chair of the Board of Directors or a member of the Board of Directors authorised by them commences the meeting. If the quorum is not present, the Board of Directors prepares a report stating as such.
After the meeting commences a committee is formed by selecting a chairperson for the meeting alongside deputy chairs and scribes.
When voting to select organs of the association, voting members must show their IDs to the committee and sign across their names in the list.
The chairperson of the committee is responsible for the management and safety of the meeting.
Only the matters mentioned in the order of business are discussed at the General Assembly meeting. However 1/10 of the attending members may demand in writing a topic be discussed, which must then be added to the agenda.
Every member has one vote at the General Assembly meeting. Members must vote in person. Honorary members may attend the General Assembly but are not allowed to vote.
Minutes are taken during the meeting. A report about the decisions are prepared and the report is signed by the chairperson of the committee and the scribes. The report and other documents are handed to the Chair of the Board of Directors after the meeting. The Chair of the Board of Directors is responsible for safekeeping of these documents and hands them over to the newly elected Board of Directors within seven days.
B) Methods of Voting and Decision Making by the General Assembly
At the General Assembly meeting, voting for the organs of the association are held by secret ballot, and voting on other matters is by open ballot, unless a decision states otherwise. Secret ballots are sealed by the chairperson of the committee, which are then used and put in an empty container by the members. After all ballots are collected, they are opened.
In an open ballot, the chair of the committee decides the method.
General Assembly decisions are made by absolute majority of the attending members. However decisions to change the bylaws or to dissolve the association may be made only by votes of 2/3 of the members.
The vote to change the bylaws is held by open ballot.
C) Decisions Made Without a Meeting or an Invitation
Decisions made by written attendance of members without having to convene, and by all members of the association gathering together without following the invitation methods in the bylaws are valid.
These do not count as an ordinary meeting.
Formation, Duties and Powers of the Board of Directors
A) Formation of the Board of Directors
Five main and five reserve members for the Board of Directors are chosen by the General Assembly.
In its first meeting after the election, the General Assembly chooses the chair, deputy chair, secretary, accountant and member.
The Board of Directors may be called for a meeting as long as all members are notified. However it must convene routinely at least once a month to make decisions regarding their duties and transact business. The board must convene with at least half of the members plus one. Decisions are made with an absolute majority of attending members. Three members of the Board of Directors may convene an extraordinary meeting.
If a main member of the Board of Directors resigns or a seat is otherwise vacant, reserve members are called to duty starting with the one who got the most votes at the General Assembly.
A Board of Directors membership may become void if the member fails to attend a routine meeting twice consecutively. If the membership of a member of the Board of Directors becomes void or is vacated by resignation, reserve members must be called to duty within three days, starting with the one who got the most votes at the General Assembly. The membership of a member of the Board of Directors can be made void by a majority of votes of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors decisions rely on majority vote. The Board of Directors must convene with at least half of the members plus one, and issues must be decided upon by a majority of votes of the attendees.
B) Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are responsible for the following:
a) Duly keeping the association's books and registries.
b) Representing the association and authorising other members.
c) Processing income and expenses, and preparing the next term's budget to present to the General Assembly.
d) Preparing the regulations regarding the association's activities and presenting them to the General Assembly.
e) Purchasing or selling real estate, having buildings and facilities constructed, signing rental agreements, acquiring mortgages and property rights with the General Assembly's authorisation.
f) Carrying out the decisions of the General Assembly.
g) At the end of every year, preparing operation account tables, balance and revenue tables and reports on the Board of Directors activities to present to the General Assembly when it convenes.
h) Carrying out the budget.
i) Making decisions to accept or terminate memberships.
j) Hiring, firing and supervising employees.
k) Collecting relevant information and documents for the members.
l) Making decisions regarding the association's international activities, and to join or leave associations and organisations abroad.
m) Transacting business in accordance with the purpose of the association as defined in the bylaws.
n) Coordinating all activities of the association.
o) Preparing operation schedules for the next term.
p) Making and carrying out decisions to attain the association's purpose.
r) Calling the General Assembly to ordinary or extraordinary meetings.
s) Choosing people to represent the association in national and international meetings.
t) Making decisions about all other matters that does not require a General Assembly decision.
Formation, Powers and Duties of the Supervisory Board
A) Formation of the Supervisory Board
Three main and three reserve members of the Supervisory Board are chosen by the General Assembly.
If a main member of the Supervisory Board resigns or a seat is otherwise vacant, reserve members are called to duty starting with the one who got the most votes at the General Assembly.
B) Powers and Duties
The Supervisory Board oversees activities of the association to ensure that it is transacting business to attain its purpose, and that books, accounts and registries are duly kept in line with the regulations and the association's bylaws. These are inspected at least once a year in accordance with the methods defined in the association's bylaws. Results of the inspection are accumulated in a report that is presented to the Board of Directors and the General Assembly when it convenes.
The Supervisory Board may call the General Assembly to meeting.
Internal Supervision and Transparency
Article 19- Internal supervision might be carried out in the association by the General Assembly, the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board, or an external supervisory body might be called in. The fact that the General Assembly, the Board of Directors or an external supervisory body has carried out supervision within the association does not eliminate the responsibilities of the Supervisory Board.
The Supervisory Board inspects and supervises the association at least once a year. The General Assembly or the Board of Directors may supervise when they see fit, or call in an external supervisory body.
Utmost transparency shall be attained towards members and public. The Board of Directors is responsible with informing the General Assembly about the transparency precautions in place.
Methods of Taking Loans
Article 20- The Board of Directors may decide to take a loan to attain the association's purpose and to carry out activities. This might be done by purchasing goods or services with credit, or might also be a cash loan. However the association cannot take a loan that cannot be met with the its sources of revenue, or causes financial difficulty.
Establishment of Branches
Article 21- The General Assembly may make decisions to open branches where it deems needed. The Board of Directors will authorise a founders' committee of at least three people to provide the declaration of branch formation and other necessary documents to the highest administrative authority of the place where the new branch is to be established.
Powers and Duties of the Branches
Article 22- The branches are internal organisations within the association that have the power and duty to autonomously perform activities in line with the association's purpose. The branches are responsible for their own debts.
Organs of the Branches and Provisions Regarding Branches
Article 23- Organs of the branches consist of the General Assembly, the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board.
The General Assembly comprises all registered members of the branch.
Five main and five reserve members for the Board of Directors, and three main and three reserve members of the Supervisory Board are chosen by the General Assembly of the branch.
Powers and duties of these organs and all other provisions regarding the association in the bylaws are carried out by the branches.
Timing of the General Assembly Meetings of the Branches and How They Will Be Represented at the General Assembly of the Head Office
Article 24- The branches must end their ordinary general assembly meetings at least two months before the General Assembly of the head office.
General assembly meetings of the branches convene once every three years in the month of September. The date, time and location are chosen by the board of directors of the branch.
The branches must send, within thirty days, a copy of the general assembly report to the local authority and the head office of the association.
The branches are represented by chosen and at-large delegates at the General Assembly of the head office. Members of the board of directors and the supervisory board of a branch attend the General Assembly of the head office and represent their branch as at-large delegates. One (1) delegate for every twenty (20) registered members of the branch becomes a chosen delegate. If the remaining member count is above 10, or if the total member count is below 20, one more delegate will be chosen for these members as well.
Delegates chosen at the last general assembly of the branch shall attend the General Assembly of the head office. Members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board of the head office attend the General Assembly of the head office, however are not allowed to vote unless they are chosen as delegates of the branch.
If members of the board of directors or the supervisory board of a branch as selected to the Board of Directors or the Supervisory Board of the head office, they must resign from their positions in their branch.
Changes to the Bylaws
Article 25- Changes to the bylaws may be made by decisions of the General Assembly.
To change the bylaws, a quorum of 2/3 of the members of the association with the right to attend the General Assembly and the right to vote must be present. If the meeting is postponed because the quorum is not present, there will be no stipulation of a quorum for the second meeting. However the attendance to this meeting may not be less than double the number of the total members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board.
To change the bylaws, votes of 2/3 of the members who attend the meeting with a right to vote are needed. Votes to change the bylaws in a General Assembly are to be taken openly.
Opening an Agency
Article 26- The association may open agencies wherever it sees fit with a Board of Directors decision to carry out activities. The address of the association is reported to the local authority of the same place by a representative or representatives chosen by the Board of Directors. Agencies are not represented in the association's General Assembly. Branches of the association cannot open agencies.
Methods of Dissolving the Association and Liquidating the Assets
Article 27- The General Assembly may decide to dissolve the association at any time.
To discuss dissolving the association, 2/3 of the members with the right to attend the General Assembly must be present. If the meeting is postponed because the quorum is not present, there will be no stipulation of a quorum for the second meeting. However the attendance to this meeting may not be less than double the number of the total members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board.
The decision to dissolve the association may be made only by votes of 2/3 of the members. The vote to change the dissolve the association is held by open ballot.
When the General Assembly decides to dissolve the association, a liquidation committee consisting of the members of the last Board of Directors liquidates the cash, assets and rights of the association. This process starts on the date the General Assembly makes the decision to dissolve the association or the association is automatically dissolved.
It is the liquidation committee's duty and within its power to liquidate the association's cash, assets and rights from the beginning till the end. This committee first inspects the association's bank accounts. The association's books, receipts, expenses, deeds, bank accounts and other documents are inspected and its assets and obligations are collected in a report. The association's creditors are called in, and its assets are liquidated to pay the creditors. If the association is owed money, the debts are collected. After all debts are collected and creditors are paid back in full, remaining cash, assets and rights of the association are transferred to a place that is chosen by the General Assembly. If the General Assembly has not chosen a place to transfer these, they are transferred to an association with the largest membership base amongst associations with similar goals and purposes in the same city.
All processes regarding the liquidation are collected in a liquidation report, and must be finished within three months unless local authorities extend the time for justifiable reasons. After the association's cash, assets and rights are liquidated, the liquidation committee must inform the local authorities of the association's location within seven days, by handing in the liquidation report.
Members of the last Board of Directors, as the liquidation committee, are responsible for keeping the association's books and documents. This duty might also be given to a member of the Board of Directors. Books and documents must be kept for five years.
Is the association is dissolved, assets are transferred by the decision of the Board of Directors to an association or a foundation that works in the field of human rights.
Article 28- Matters not mentioned in the bylaws shall be handled according to the Law of Associations, Turkish Civil Code and provisions of other legislation regarding associations.
Provisional Article 1- In the first General Assembly, a temporary Board of Directors was named that will transact business and represent the association until the organs of the association are set up. Members of the temporary Board of Directors are as follows:
Name and Surname : Title
Melike Are Şakiroğlu : Chair
Müge Akbasan : Deputy Chair
Asya Leman Sanıtürk : Secretary
Mustafa Sarıyılmaz : Accountant
Evra Çetin : Member
Bylaws of the association comprise 28 (twenty-eight) main articles and 1 (one) temporary article.