Young gay man attacked in Bolu by Nationalists

In Bolu, a young gay man was the victim of a homophobic hate attack in the middle of the street by two people saying “We are [Devlet] Bahceli’s soldiers”. [Bahçeli is the leader of the far right-wing Nationalist Movement Party.] Bolu Labor and Democracy Platform condemned the attack.

Source: Yildiz Tar, “Bolu’da eşcinsel gence ‘Bahçeli’nin askerleriyiz’ diyerek saldırdılar” (“Men stating ‘We are Bahceli’s soldiers’ attacked young gay man in Bolu”), Kaos GL, 10 March 2015, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18929

A young gay man studying at Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University was attacked on March 8th, International Women’s Day. The young man who attended the women’s protest on the campus on 6 March, suffered from a homophobic hate attack from two people two days later, on 8 March, while he was on his way to buy some bread.

The young man describing the incident to KaosGL.org stated that the assailants used statements such as “We are Devlet Bahceli’s soldiers”, “Faggot”, “Poof”, and “Disrupter”, and applied physical violence. He shared what he went through as follows:

“Do not defend faggots and disruptors like him!”

“When I was returning home, two men stopped me. They started hitting me right there. Then, I realised that another person leaving a close-by coffee shop was approaching us. I thought that he was coming to break up the fight; but later he started beating me too. I learned that this third person was working at that coffee shop. They battered me for a long time. Then, a man who saw what was happening tried to help me and break up the fight. They scolded him by saying ‘Do not defend faggots and disruptors like him!’. I ran home afterwards and told my friends about the incident.”

Discrimination continued at the police station

The young man who got a medical report establishing battery following the attack and who went to the police station was again subjected to homophobic discrimination. The young man stated that the tone of the police officer who was taking his statement was very repugnant and that it was intended to hinder his right to access justice, and he shared his experience at the police station as follows:

“The person who was taking my statement put the blame on me by saying in a mocking tone ‘What is wrong with you, becoming gay and bringing trouble on yourself’. I tried to explain my identity, but… They reminded me of Berkin Elvan too by saying ‘Do these kind of incidents only happen to you when you are out buying bread?’ There has not been any response from the police department yet.”

“Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declares LGBTIs perverted”

The attack on the young gay man was protested by the members of Bolu Labor and Democracy Platform as well. The members of the platform who gathered outside of the courthouse condemned the attack. Egitim-Sen Bolu Branch’s Secretary Abdullah Berberoğlu who made a statement on behalf of the group expressed the following:

“AKP government has been sowing the seeds of grudge and hatred in this country for the past 12 years. It insulted women by saying ‘I do not believe in equality of women and men’, and it insulted the LGBTI individuals by declaring them perverted because their sexual orientations are different. The people governing the society in Turkey are sexist, homophobic and transphobic. This is the reason why in trans murders, women’s murders and attacks it is the killer with whom a rapport is established, instead of the victim.”

“Until society’s mentality is transformed, fascist attacks will continue”

“The dominant ideology let on in numerous occasions is that it is patriarchal and heterosexist. Until this severely macho mentality is transformed, trans, gay and women’s murders will not cease, fascist attacks will continue, assailants will not consider themselves guilty, and they will think that a social or even legal approval is granted to hate murders and attacks. Until the sexist, transphobic and masculine language of the society is transformed, the lumpen and fascist mentality’s attacks under the influence of hate speeches will not come to an end.

Whereas, article 17 of the Constitution provides an assurance for the right to life ‘of everyone’. Pursuant to this provision, ‘Everyone has the right to life and the right to protect and improve his/her corporeal and spiritual existence.’ The right to life cannot be assessed severally with respect to each person’s ethnicity, religion, language, sexual orientation or gender identity. The life of no citizen is less valuable than another’s.”

“Sexual orientation and gender identity must be introduced to the Constitution”

“We demand that the expressions ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ are included to article 10 of the Constitution regulating equality, that hate crimes are set forth in the code as an aggravating circumstance or a separate type of crime and are materially applied, that effective precautions to prevent violence against LGBTI individuals are taken instead of oppressive and police practices aimed at trans individuals, and that the pressure on gays applied under the pretext of contradiction with public decency is ended.

We, whose hearts are set on humanity, fellowship, peace and equality, announce once again to the public that we will keep fighting and will be followers of this issue until each and every individual in this country obtains the right to life as a human.”

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