The Republican People’s Party visits LGBTTs

Source: CNNTürk, “CHP, LGBTT’leri ziyaret etti,” (The Republican People’s Party visits LGBTTs,”) 10 October 2013, http://www.cnnturk.com/2013/turkiye/10/10/chp.lgbttleri.ziyaret.etti/726711.0/

The Youth Organization Members of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) visited LGBTs and listened to their problems in Izmir. LGBT people demanded a trans parliamentarian in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

After the CHP Izmir Parliament Member Mustafa Moroğlu attended the “Resist Ayol*” demonstration in July, the youth organization of CHP visited LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) people and listened to their problems. The Black Pink Triangle LGBT Initiative (Siyah Pembe Üçgen)  demanded a transsexual parliamentarian.

The General Vice President of the CHP Youth Organization Nazli Kiran, the president of the Izmir CHP Youth Organization İbrahim Soydan, the vice presidents Tuğçe Onbaşı, Zeynep Arca, Deniz Mert Hancı and Mahsun Kazan visited the Black Pink Triangle LGBT Initiative. The members of the Black Pink Triangle, Erdem Gür, Demet Yanardağ and Yavuz Aksoy pointed out that discrimination and murders of trans women increased significantly in the last two years when compared to the past. Ms. Yanardağ also stated:

“We do not accept the slogan of “women friendly city” for Izmir because of this reason.  No city deserves such a slogan in a country where women are being subjected to discrimination so much. We were not surprised that the hate crime legislation in the democracy package does not include us. A package that only includes Islamophobia and the headscarf issue is not right. If a woman wears the headscarf, people give their seat on a public bus. Because she is considered a “sister” by society, men protect her. There is a different perception if the woman is not wearing a headscarf, wears make-up and a décolleté.  We want a trans parliamentary member in order to voice our problems.”

“We will ensure that your problems are conveyed to the Assembly”

The president of the Izmir CHP Youth Organization İbrahim Soydan stated that they founded a commission that will listen to the problems of disadvantaged and discriminated groups in society and will offer solutions to them. He also stated:

“As the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, we will listen to the troubles of people with disabilities, of minorities, of non-Muslims and of senior citizens. The commission will ensure that unjust treatments are discussed in detail to offer solutions and that they are conveyed to the Assembly.”

*Ayol is an exclamatory word associated with femininity and taboos and can mean “well”, “hey”, “wow”. The word itself has been in use in colloquial Turkish and underground LGBTI culture, however, its full and current appropriation by LGBTI organizations is a recent phenomenon that started with the Gezi Resistance in May 2013.  One of the first uses was in a banner “What’s forbidden, ayol!” during protests on Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, Istanbul. “Ayol” has been appearing as graffiti across Turkey since then. “Resist ayol” was used as a twitter hashtag for 2013 Pride Week. Its importance is rooted in the fact that though “ayol” was used by LGBTI organizations, it has been accepted and appropriated across groups in the Resistance. One explanation for its popularity can be found in the feeling that the word transcends and frees traditional gender roles and power relations; it imparts a sense of freedom…

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