Rainbow Colors of Turkey’s May Day

Source: Yıldız Tar, “LGBTİ’ler 1 Mayıs’ta 18 Şehirde Alanlarda!” (“Rainbow Colors of Turkey’s May Day”), Kaos GL, 02 May 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16481

LGBTI people in Turkey took the streets in 18 different cities for May Day: Let’s get liberated together!
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LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) people took the streets all over Turkey on International Workers’ Day. Rainbow flags were carried in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Antep, Balikesir, Canakkale, Dersim, Diyarbakir, Eskisehir, Giresun, Iskenderun, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Malatya, Mersin and Trabzon this year, making it the biggest LGBTI participation on the day.

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Adana

Adana: That kind of job!
LGBTIs gathered in Adana upon the call of Queer Adana and marched behind the banner “that kind of job”. They carried placards such as “love between women exists” and “don’t touch my willpower”.

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Ankara

Ankara: We will get either liberated or decayed altogether!
Having taken the streets for the first time in 2001 as an organized group, LGBTIs gathered in front of Ankara Train Station. Kaos GL and Pink Life Associations as well as independent LGBTI activists marched behind the banner “we will get either liberated or decayed altogether!”

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Antalya

Antalya: Workers and faggots hand in hand for a sexual and class revolution!
Pink Carette LGBTI filled Antalya with rainbow flags as well as their banner “workers and faggots hand in hand for a sexual and class revolution”.

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Antep

Antep: Homophobia out, colors in!
ZeugMadi LGBT stood against homophobia and transphobia with a banner “homophobia out, colors in.”

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Balıkesir

Balikesir: What’s prohibition, ayol*?
LGBTI in Balikesir marched with Balikesir Branch of Human Rights Association and said: What’s a prohibition, ayol[1]?

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Çanakkale

Rainbow flags in Canakkale
LGBTIs took the streets in Canakkale and became a part of the May Day demonstration.

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Dersim

Dersim: A world with no bosses, no pimps, no violence and no exploitation
LGBTIs in Dersim gathered upon the call of Rostiya Asme Initiative with participation of LGBTIs from neighboring cities. They demanded a world with no bosses, no pimps, no violence and no exploitation.

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Diyarbakır

Diyarbakir: Keep up the struggle!
KeSKeSoR LGBT marched with rainbow and KeSKeSoR flags. Participating in every social action for many years, LGBTIs in Diyarbakir said “keep up the struggle”.

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Eskişehir

Eskisehir: Generally immoral!
MorEl made a call for the May Day demonstration in Eskisehir and marched with placards “generally immoral”, “what if I am a faggot” and “sexual orientation in the Constitution”.

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Giresun

Giresun: No to the sexist and homophobic system!
Giresun opened a banner “no to the sexist and homophobic system” and carried rainbow flags.

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Iskenderun

Iskenderun: What’s a boss, ayol[1]?
Iskenderun Colors of Freedom took the streets with a banner “what’s a boss, ayol*?”

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Istanbul

Istanbul: Rainbow at the barricades
LGBTIs in Istanbul met in the district of Sisli in order to march to the prohibited Taksim Square. Rainbow flags were present at the barricades during the all-day-long clashes.

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Izmir

Izmir: LGBTI rights, a labor issue
LGBTIs in Izmir painted May Day in rainbow colors and said “LGBTI rights, a labor issue”.

Kayseri

Rainbow in Kayseri
LGBTIs in Kayseri marched with their rainbow flags among the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

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Kocaeli

Kocaeli: LGBTI everywhere!
LGBTIs in Kocaeli said “LGBTIs are everywhere” and flourished a freedom struggle in the city.

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Malatya

Malatya: Homophobia out, colors in
Malatya Youth Initiative Against Homophobia and Transphobia said in the meeting stage “homophobia out, colors in”.

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Mersin

Broad participation in Mersin
Mersin 7 Colors increased the volume of the song of freedom in the city. The demonstration saw a broad participation with many people giving an open support to the LGBTI struggle.

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Trabzon

Rainbow in Trabzon, too!
Trabzon Purple Fish LGBT participated in the demonstration with their rainbow flags, saying “we are everywhere”.

[1] 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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