Sabah Newspaper: “Criminal Complaint against LGBT Banner”

The text below is a verbatim translation of an article that appeared on pro-government news site Sabah. It provides an example of religious arguments against LGBTI and Pride.

Source: Sabah, “LGBT pankartına suç duyurusu”, (“Criminal Complaint against LGBT Banner”), sabah.com.tr, 29 June 2015, http://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2015/06/29/lgbt-pankartina-suc-duyurusu

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They have taken action: DISRESPECTING THE HOLY TAKEN TO COURT

The banner “Ramazan cannot prevent Şaban and Recep’s love” [1], opened at the LGBT protest called ‘Pride’ [‘Honor’] march that took place yesterday in Taksim, was taken to court.

A criminal complaint was filed by Lawyer Hasan Emre Okumuş against the banner “Ramazan cannot prevent Şaban and Recep’s love” at LGBT march. Okumuş gave a statement to sabah.com.tr and said he’ll be following the issue.

The criminal complaint is in the petition below:

As it is known by the public, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) persons held the “Trans Pride March” on 28/06/2015 and opened a banner that contains insult regarding Ramazan that we are currently in. LGBTs who opened the banner “Ramazan cannot prevent Şaban and Recep’s love” for pride march have insulted the most holy value that Muslims have and have integrated the most holy month with homosexuality.

As it is known, our society is composed in majority of citizens who belong to the Religion of Islam. In such a society, insulting the Islamic Religion’s holy values, making fun of holy months and integrating it with homosexuality banned by Islam, would be an act that would create hatred and enmity towards people who are not of the Islamic Religion or who do not hold religious sensitivities and especially towards LGBTIs who joined the march. Furthermore, even if society’s majority did not belong to the Islamic religion, insult and integrating any religion’s values deemed holy with values that are banned would constitute a situation against freedom of belief and respecting beliefs and would constitute a defamation and insult against the members of that religion. This is a situation that is suitable for spoiling public peace. [2]

As a Muslim who is a member of the Islamic Religion, I also have been affected by the suspects’ act, have felt anguish and sadness when the three months that the Islamic Religion deems holy, which I believe to be blessed, were made fun of and on top of it all, the acts took place in the blessed days of the Month of Qur’an, and have felt feelings of rage and temper towards the persons who committed that vile act.

Due to these reasons, I am forced to file a complaint against the suspects for their vile acts.

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They made fun of the three months: DISRESPECTING THE HOLY AT LGBT MARCH

[1] Ramazan or Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. Rejep or Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar and is regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which battles are prohibited. The month is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, which follows after the intervening month of Şaban or Sha’aban. Ramazan, Recep, and Şaban are popular male names in Turkey.

[2] In Turkey, the rhetorics of “producing enmity and anger” and “insulting religion” are historically used both in advocating for mass violence and in legitimizing violence in courts after the fact. As such, it is prudent to read this paragraph, along with the newspaper’s choice of words (mobilization) as implicit threats of violence against LGBTIs in Turkey. -Trans.

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