SPoD and Representatives of the LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform Visited the CHP Leader

Source: “SPoD ve LGBT Siyasi Temsil ve Katılım Platformu Temsilcileri CHP Genel Başkanını Ziyaret Etti,” (SPoD and Representatives of the LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform Visited the CHP Leader,”) 21 November 2013, http://www.SPoD.org.tr/turkce/SPoD-lgbt-ve-lgbt-siyasi-temsil-ve-katilim-platformu-temsilcileri-chp-genel-baskani-kemal-kilicdaroglunu-ziyaret-etti/

Following the Local Administrations Political School for LGBTs that ran between 11 and 17 November 2013, the Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) continue their work to increase the political participation of LGBTs and visit political parties. Following the meetings with the politicians of the Democratic Party of the People (HDP) in the HDP extraordinary congress in October, the SPoD and the representatives of LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform met with the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

On 19 November, the representatives of the SPoD and LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform: Sedef Çakmak, Boysan Yakar, Sezen Yalçın and Deniz Şapka met with Gürsel Tekin, the vice-chairman of the CHP; Melda Onur, CHP İstanbul MP and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the CHP.

Throughout the meeting, the importance of the political participation of LGBTs was emphasized in order to campaign against violence, oppression and discrimination toward LGBT people. In this sense, they gave the message that LGBTs who would like to participate in politics should be supported by political parties in the local elections. They also underlined that the LGBT movement now has the capacity to promote candidates after twenty years activism. They also stated that the LGBTs took their place at the frontlines during the Gezi resistance in June; the LGBT movement’s visibility and the legitimacy will be a potent public opinion in the local elections.

Gürsel Tekin, the vice-chairman of the CHP, met with the SPoD and the representatives of tje LGBT Political Representation and Participation Platform in the CHP headquarters. Tekin stated that he would support the candidacy of LGBTs in the local elections and that they included discussions of LGBT people’s right to life, right to work and the freedom of expression in their “Other Turkey” (“Öteki Türkiye”) report.

The committee then talked with Melda Onur, CHP İstanbul MP and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the CHP. The committee pointed out that following the hate speeches of some politicians of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), LGBTs became targets more visibly and they underlined the significance of the political participation of LGBTs.

After listening carefully to the projects LGBTs conducted in the field of representation and participation, Kılıçdaroğlu stated that women will be given priority in the coming municipality elections so that the women’s quota is not just lip service and that the CHP would encourage LGBT and women candidates in metropolitan cities like İstanbul, İzmir, and Ankara. Kılıçdaroğlu also declared his support for possible candidates who understand the problems of LGBTs and who can push these problems to discussions within the political arena. Kılıçdaroğlu stated that LGBT rights are a human rights issue and that they will continue to support LGBTs.

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