ismail saymaz

High turnout at the hate crimes panel in Mersin

Ismail Saymaz from the Radikal newspaper and Yıldız Tar from Kaos GL participated in the “Hate Crimes” panel, on “Hrant Dink and Zirve Publishing House Assassinations” and “Sexual Orientation- and Gender Identity-based Hate Crimes,” at Mersin University. The panel was moved to a larger lecture hall due to high turnout.


Photo by Salih-i Umar


Sex Workers Penalized after Business Cards were Deemed ‘Pornographic Material’

Source: İsmail Saymaz, “Seks İşçisinin bastırdığı karta ‘Pornografik Ürün’ Cezası Verildi” (“Sex Workers Penalized after Business Cards were Deemed ‘Pornographic Material’”),, December 24, 2014,

19 individuals, consisting of alleged sex workers and those who allegedly printed and distributed their business cards, were handed down prison sentences by an Ankara court yesterday.

An unusual decision was made by a court in Ankara yesterday regarding 19 people – among them sex workers and their acquaintances, who allegedly distributed calling cards in public. These cards, which until today were processed as a misdemeanor for “pollution,” were deemed “pornographic material.” This way the court was able to hand down criminal sentences for “obscenity in places open to children.” The cards’ owner was sentenced to one and a half years of prison time in addition to a 5,000 TL  (2160 USD) penalty, and the person who allegedly distributed the cards was sentenced to two years of prison time as well as a 5,000 TL penalty.

An anonymous tip to the Ankara Police Department in 2012 reported that “passers-by are being harassed by way of dispersing and distributing cards for prostitution in front of businesses, schools and bus stops around the vicinity of the statue in Ulus Square.” The police responded by gathering the cards around the reported area and requested that the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication determine which women and trans individuals the phone numbers on the cards belonged to. The defendants were then identified.