Author: elcordobeslerinbesincisi

On the Third Day of Mersin Pride Week: We are Getting Wet!

Mersin Pride will continue through the week. Today, July 11, marks the third day of events and the 4th Mersin Pride is once more about resistance!

Source: “On the Third Day of Mersin Pride Week: We are Getting Wet!”, (Mersin Onur Haftası’nın Üçüncü Gününde:Islanıyoruz!”, pembehayat, July 11, 2018,  http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1837       

The 4th Mersin Pride events will continue throughout the week, starting with pride swimming on July 9, 2018. There will be panels and exhibitions which curate topics which range from the forced migration of LGBTI+ people, to a forum and discussion about the rejection of masculinity, to the opening of an art show titled Night” which focuses on the life of Elif–who could not endure her family’s pressure and committed suicide. On day three of Mersin Pride Week, there will be an event titled “A Rejection Story: The Ugly Duckling and Finding our Own Swans.”

Another event taking place on the third day of the pride week is “We are Getting Wet: A Gullüm Knowledge Contest.” Mersin Pride Week will continue to open spaces for struggle through resistance, just as it began this year with the adoption of the same slogan.

Don’t Forget to Stop by Night!

Night” is an exhibition that focuses on the life of a trans woman who spoke with Pembe Hayat about her experience at the factory she worked in, including the harassment she was subjected to which resulted in her leaving her job, and who later committed suicide.

Works by Raziye Köksal Kartal and Ateş Alpar focus on Elif’s point of view and her life in Mersin. Kartal, who spoke at the opening of the exhibition, said they titled the exhibition after Elif’s dog as a way to remember her.

You can find out more about Mersin Pride Week by checking out their Facebook page here.

 

Özgür Gür from METU LGBTI+ is Released

Özgür Gür from METU LGBTI+ Solidarity Released Today after his statement at the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Source: “Özgür Gür from METU LGBTI+ is Released”, (“ODTÜ LGBTİ+’dan Özgür Gür Serbest”), pembehayat, July 9, 2018, http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1833

Özgür Gür from Middle East Technical University (METU),  LGBTI+ Solidarity, as well as the head of the Council of Student Representatives (CSR) was taken from his home and detained on Sunday, July 8. He was released today, July 9, after his statement at the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Gür’s lawyer, Erkan Çiftçi, said that during Gür’s detainment at the police station he was questioned about banners put up at METU graduation ceremony which read: “We are not a group of students, but the school’s LGBTI+ people. We are here! It is our right to live safely on the streets and on campus.” Another banner read: “Verşan Kök cannot be the rector of METU.”

Çiftçi stated that Mehmet Gür also asked: “did you shout out ‘Rector Resign’ slogans?”

What had happened?

METU security guards attacked students who put up a rainbow flag and banners during the graduation ceremony.

At first the private security guards said “we’ll take the flag down”, then they threatened the students from METU LGBT+ Solidarity who put up a rainbow flag at the bleachers. The security guards attacked students when they put up banners during the rector’s speech that said, “We are not a group of students, but the school’s LGBTI+ people. We are here! It is our right to live safely on the streets and on campus” and “Verşan Kök cannot be the rector of METU.”

Three students were detained after the protests at the graduation ceremony on July 6, 2018. Özgür Gür from METU LGBTI+ Solidarity, the head of the CSR, was taken from his home today and detained.

 

After “Perversion” flyers in Ankara, “Revolting” flyers in Izmir were distributed

After flyers that said, “Homosexuality is perversion” were distributed in residential mailboxes in Esat, Ankara today (July 20), flyers that said “Homosexuality is revolting and could be reversed by means of persuasion” were distributed to people living in Kordon, Izmir.

Source: “After “Perversion” flyers in Ankara, “Revolting” flyers in Izmir were distributed”, (Ankara’da “Sapkınlıktır” Bildirisinden Sonra İzmir’de “İğrençliktir” Bildirileri Dağıtıldı), pembehayat.org, July 20, 2018, http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1844

Flyers that said, “No to homosexuality and homosexual organizations” were distributed today in Esat, Ankara. These flyers proliferate hate speech, refer to homosexuals as “sexual perverts” and claim that they are supported by the “British deep state.”

Flyers that said, “Homosexuality could be reversed by means of persuasion; it is immoral and revolting” were distributed to people sitting on grass at a park in Alsancak, Izmir. The flyers state that youths should not fall into this trap, [and] protect their moral values and live an “honorable” life. They claim this under the guise of “human rights” and continue with “We want Kemalist young men who protect their country and people, not young men who put on make-up and have a soft spoken voice.”

“These people are detached from love.”

One person who saw these flyers being distributed spoke with Pembe Hayat:

“I do not understand how people can think that homosexuality can be reversed by ‘persuasion’ in 2018 when the DSM* removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders many years ago. It is obvious to me that these people are detached from scientific knowledge and love. When there is such good progress being made regarding LGBTI+ people; when marriage is becoming legalized around the world, homosexuals in Turkey are still being targeted with homophobic attitudes through these kinds of leaflets. How long will LGBTI+ people have to hide their love? How long are they going to be subjected to hate speech and to stares of disgust when they walk hand in hand? Nobody can decide for anybody who they should love. The rainbow will always exist.”

*DSM: the abbreviation for American Psychological Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders.” The American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1973.

“Let’s fight against Homophobia by having our stories told”

Lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual women tell stories about the violation of their rights and how they were exposed to discrimination. First story by Zeynep S.

Source: Aslı Alpar, “Hikâyelerimiz anlatılsın diye homofobiye karşı mücadele edelim”, Kaos GL, March 19, 2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=25360

About 2 months remain before the 17th of May, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Throughout these 2 months lesbian, transsexual and bisexual women, through KaosGL.org, are going to tell their stories of the violation of their rights and how they were exposed to discrimination. We will listen to lesbian, bisexual and transsexual women’s experiences in every aspect of life from education, health and family to work life.

The first story belongs to Zeynep S:

Not being able to tell our story

I have experienced discrimination in regards to sexual orientation several times. Being verbally abused by your peers in school and by your family and the inability to walk the streets holding hands; aren’t these already discrimination? Still, I want to talk about my most tragi-comical discriminative experiences. I call it tragi-comical because it was in an event organised by an NGO that claims to be working for women’s rights where I came across by the event organiser turned into discriminative behaviour.

Eight years ago, there was a meeting in Ankara. Women’s conditions and experiences were supposed to be discussed. In this activity, women of different ages were gathered together and the mediated conversation was directed to recounting experiences. The topic was sexism.

Immediately starting to talk in a meeting has never been a thing I would do. I waited, I listened to everyone else. Listening to severe sexual harassment stories encouraged my audacity. Yet, I continued listening. About 10 women quoted their stories. Rape in marriage, sexual abuse, safe sex methods and abortion were discussed. All the sexism-related experiences discussed were between men and women. Possibly. I wanted to tell my story, too, but since no other homosexual women shared their experience and even the existence of homosexual women wasn’t discussed I was pushed to my corner.

There were some missing points, but there was a sincere atmosphere. I decided to tell my story as the meeting was getting to the end. I felt brave since I had recently come out to my mother. I started talking, before telling my story I decided to make an introduction.

I said: “We spoke about sexism but all the stories where experiences between woman and man,” I was about to continue when one of the participants said: “what else could it possibly be.” It was one of those times when I would escape from speaking in a meeting; when I heard that I blushed and my heart was jumping out of my mouth. The moderator didn’t say anything so as I was trying to calm myself down I said, “sexism can be experienced between women too.”

The moderator asked, “Are you a homosexual?”

I answered, “Your topic has nothing to do with me being a homosexual or not. This is the topic; sexism is not only being experienced between men and women.” This broke my courage including the story I was about to tell.

The moderator asked again: “Are you a homosexual? Please tell if you’re lesbian, as long as you’re telling your story.”

This insistence, encouraged the guests as they were staring at me with their curious eyes, someone asked, “Some doctors believe your homosexuality is an illness, have you ever received treatment?”

I told them homosexuality was not a disease, that their claim was not scientific and that I identify myself as bisexual. As I was not yet done with my sentence, the moderator panicked and said things like: “our meeting is about to end. We have said quite a lot in the past 1.5 hours.” However, s/he didn’t say anything to the participant who said “homosexuality is illness” and s/he ended the meeting. My story stayed with me.

In the end, a title was asked for this series of articles. I would say: “Let’s fight against Homophobia by having our stories told”, this is my title.

Photo Credit: Kelly Beeman

Transphobic Statement from the Pedagogy Association

The Pedagogy Association claims that with a set of methods, trans children can develop “a gender identity that matches their biological sex.”

Source: “Transphobic Statement from the Pedagogy Association”, (Pedagoji Derneği’nden Transfobik Açıklama), kasogl.org, July 19, 2018, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=26300

The Pedagogy Association published an article claiming that trans children can develop “a gender identity that matches their biological sex.”

The Pedagogy Association does not see any harm in defining trans existence as “unusual” and as a “disorder”.

This comes in direct contradiction to the World Health Organization who 2 months ago removed trans identities from the “mental illness” category in the list of International Disease Classifications.

The association states that in a child’s gender identity development process, it is ‘natural’ for “a male to perceive himself as a male” and “a female to perceive herself as a female” and cases where this is the opposite should be medically treated.

Instead of acknowledging accepted scientific knowledge, the association continues to embrace the binary gender system saying that incorrect parental guidance and environmental factors are the reasons why children have gender dysphoria.

The association states that “for a person to develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex is natural” and continues the article saying, “sometimes a boy feels like a girl and starts behaving like a girl, and sometimes a girl feels like a boy and starts behaving like a boy. This shows that the person has not been able to develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex.”

“A Gender Identity that Matches One’s Sex”

The association defines trans existence as “unusual:” “For a child to develop a gender identity other than its own sex is an unusual situation. This should be addressed with care and the reason for the deviation in the child’s gender identity should be investigated. By seeking help from specialists when necessary, the child should be supported in developing a gender identity that matches their own sex.” The claim has no scientific basis.

The Pedagogy Association claims that it is a waste of time for parents of trans children to take their children to psychiatry specialists and that with intervention at an ‘early age’ the child can ‘recover:’ “…seeking psychiatry specialists for a solution drives people who experience gender identity issues into helplessness. Parents are told that this gender identity issue is normal and that it should not be intervened with. However, with early and appropriate interventions, a child’s gender identity problem can be resolved.”

Well, what does the association advice parents who have a trans child? Complete uncertainty! The association states that psychiatrists are not able to solve this ‘problem’ and that the solution is in “environmental, educational and therapeutic interventions.”

What Should Parents Who Have a Trans Child Do?

In the 143rd issue of Kaos GL Magazine’s “Health” themed file, in an article titled “Family and Transition Process in Trans Children and Adolescents,” Prof. Dr. Şahika Yüksel and Seven Kaptan offer suggestions to parents of trans children.

Yüksel and Kaptan advice parents to put gender binary constructs aside and to accept their child.

Yüksel and Kaptan end their article saying: “Parents pursue information so that they can understand and give the best response to what their children are going through. Ideally, while hiding their own emotional/intellectual experiences from their children, parents support their children, adapt to this process and try to recognize their children’s needs. Even though it is hard, parents, over time gain a new perspective on the concept of gender. Embraced acceptance may take years. What will be helpful to remember for the family is in fact general suggestions appropriate for all children: ‘Accept your child and love him/her’, ‘question traditional attitudes’, ‘create a safe space for your child’, ‘research acceptable activities.’ Forcing adolescents into dressing and behaving in a way that matches their biological sex will not shape them according to binary genders, but will increase their gender dysphoria.”

Adana Pride March Committee: We are in Adana, we are not leaving, deal with it!

The Adana Pride March Committee held a press release regarding the ban on the march by the governorship: “… With the ban, freedom of expression and assembly, along with the rights to meet, demonstrate, and march, have been violated…”

Source: “Adana Pride March Committee: We are in Adana, we are not leaving, deal with it” , (“Adana Onur Yürüyüşü Komitesi: Adana’dayız, alışın gitmiyoruz!”) ,kaosgl.org,July 7, 2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=26226

The Adana Pride March Committee held a press release today [7th of July] regarding the ban of the governorship in the Adana Humans Rights Association.

On behalf of the committee, Mehmet Bayram read the press statement from Adana LGBTI + Solidarity. Bayram stated that with the ban on what was to be the first ever Adana Pride March, the Adana Governorship violated freedom of expression and assembly, and rights of meeting, demonstration and march, and added:

“We are a part of society”

“…These rights are among the most fundamental values of a democratic and pluralistic society. In particular, these rights are guaranteed both nationally and internationally. The purpose of securing these rights is to provide concrete and effective protection for all them…”

Bayram said: “We as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, and intersex individuals’ (LGBTI’s) are a part of life and a part of this society. We have pride and we are in Adana. We are not leaving, deal with it!” with a reminder that with the increase of arbitrary mistreatment and pressure on LGBTİs in Adana, the Adana Pride March Committee was established by both the Adana LGBTI+ Solidarity and the Adana Human Rights Association.

Finalization of the ban

Bayram said that the committee was established to end the violations against the rights of LGBTIs in Adana and to protest the prohibition of the activities of LGBTI organizations in Ankara and Istanbul and the obstruction of the 26th Istanbul Honor Walk and added:

“…The Adana Pride March was planned to take place on July 7, 2018 as a walk from Abidin Dino Park to Ataturk Park, and a press release followed by a #aloneagainstprohibitions” forum in Atatürk Park.

The Adana Governorship was informed on 04.07.2018 of the planned Adana Pride March by Adana LGBTI+ Solidarity. The decision of the Governorship of Adana was as follows: ‘… In the letters of the Provincial Security Directorate dated 05.07.2018 and numbered 4512; This event to be held in an open area will cause people to be openly and imminently marginalized against other sectors based on different characteristics in terms of social class, race, religious sect or region, and thus holds apparent and imminent danger in terms of public security. It is reported that the activity to be carried out will not be suitable because it may cause a reaction by some sections due to certain social sensitivities towards the groups and individuals that will participate in the event and it may cause provocations…’”

“The non-discrimination act has been violated”

Bayram said that the reason for the decision of the ban given by the governor is entirely abstract, general, hypothetical and based on stereotypical expressions. ”The Governor’s Office’s statement regarding the content of the event we wanted to hold as to allegedly induce a part of society with hatred and enmity is nothing but an expression of the homophobic, biphobic and transphobic mindset that LGBTIs have been struggling with for many years and this violation of discrimination law, which is almost guaranteed by all legal systems on earth, is a very concrete manifestation.”

Bayram continued his statement saying “…The possibility that a part of the society can be provoked by hatred and hostility can not be legitimized and it can not be used to justify the sacrifice of the rights of another…” Bayram also added: “… The duty of the State is not to make bans which are disruptive in nature but rather with positive enforcement it should be possible to prevent the aforementioned tensions and allow room to take alternative measures…”

Akit Daily was targeting the march

With a reminder that Akit Daily had targeted the Adana Pride March, Bayram stated: “…We loudly say that the Adana Governorship’s ban on the Adana Pride March, which would have been held for the first time in Adana, Akit Daily’s hate speech, and these constitutional obstacles are political and we will never give up our struggle regarding our existence…”

Governorship of Adana bans the Pride March

The Adana Governorship has banned the first-to-be Pride March with the alleged justifications of “public safety”and “social sensitivity”.

Source: “Governorship of Adana bans the Pride March” (“Adana Valiliği, Onur Yürüyüşü’nü yasakladı”), kaosgl.org, July 6, 2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=26222.

The Adana Governorship has banned the Pride March that was supposed to take place tomorrow [7th of June]. The first march planned by the Adana LGBTI+ Solidarity has been banned by the Adana Governorship due to the supposed threats to public safety and social sensitivity.

The governorship in the official proclamation of the ban has stated:

“…[It was determined that ] this event which is to take place in an open space will incite hatred and hostility amongst a section of the public  with different characteristics in terms of social class, race, religion, sect or region against another part of society, that this might lead to imminent peril with regards to public security, that considering the intel regarding the terrorist groups preparing to act against opposing groups, that there may be reactions and provocations against the groups and individuals taking part in the organization due to certain social sensibilities and thus is not appropriate to take place”

There will be a press release

Adana LGBTI+ Solidarity has decided to have a press release tomorrow [7th of June] at 17.00 in the Adana Human Rights Association after the ban has been issued. The press release will cover the process regarding the ban and cancellation process of the first to be pride march of Adana with the theme “ban”.

Yeni Akit has targeted the Solidarity

Meanwhile, the Yeni Akit Gazette has targeted the Adana Pride March with their article titled “Mobil Homos are after provocation.”  After the gazette’s prior attack and call for a “ban” on the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March, the Adana Governorship has banned the Adana Pride March.

 

Istanbul Pride Week Committee’s Announcement Regarding Governor’s Decision Against the Pride March

Istanbul Pride Week Committee announced that the Pride March is to take place in spite of Governorship’s decision to ban the march. Below is the written statement published by the committee:

Source: “Our announcement to the public and press” (“Basına ve kamuoyuna duyurumuzdur”), Istanbul Pride Week Committee, June 29, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/istanbulpride/posts/1677107182416888:0

OUR ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE PUBLIC AND PRESS

“As Istanbul Pride Week Committee, we came together to organize the Pride March which is to take place in the last week of June as every year. Our Pride Week and March are very important for us to celebrate the pride we feel for our existence and to provide our visibility in a society in which we are systematically rendered invisible and are taught to be ashamed for our identities. It is no secret that the Pride March, which is ever more crowded with each year, takes place on the last Sunday of the month. We have been struggling with the same determination for the last 26 years, to make our call for the march be heard and to be visible.

As Article 3 of the Law on Assembly and Marches indicates, it is every citizen’s right to organize an assembly and march as long as it is peaceful, without prior permissions. However, as it is the case every year, this year too, we requested a meeting with the governorship in order to discuss our march, which is known to all the world. In the meeting we had with the governor’s aide, we were told that in previous years the march coincided with Ramadan in recent years, that this is not a hindrance this year as it is not Ramadan, however it is up to the Governor to decide.

After the meeting, the committee send a written notice regarding the week and the march to the Governorship. Unfortunately, the Governor’s reply points to the Law on Assembly and Marches which is supposed to protect our right to protest, and states that they will not be able to ensure our security, therefore it is not appropriate to organize the Pride March.

Pride March has been organized for 16 years and had taken place without any security issues for thirteen years straight, prior to the police assaults. Governorship of Istanbul stated Ramadan and security issues as an excuse first, yet for the last two years the march has not coincided with Ramadan and this year it has not received any threats, which demonstrates that the premises for the governorship’s bans are merely excuses and indeed the governorship’s decision is a part of the hatred against us.

The governor is committing a crime by using his authority to discriminate against a certain section of society. This decision is unlawful and only incites the hatred against us, therefore it is not legitimate. Yes, as the Governorship decision states we do have a security problem, yet the reason for this problem is none other than the Governorship and the police forces attacking our march, which our democratic right, every year. This decision has shown just how important Pride March is for us LGBTI+ individuals, trying to live in spite of the hatred directed towards us. This march takes place against [a backdrop of] the very violence and discrimination that the governorship’s decision further incites.

We announce to the public and press that  we will carry out our Pride March with the same determination as we have done for the last twenty six years and we would like to remind all that each lubunya [queer person] is a Pride March. “

Governorship of Ankara’s decision to ban the film screening of ‘Pride’

Source: Ankara Valiliği, “Yasaklama Kararına İlişkin Basın Duyurusu”, June 28, 2018, http://www.ankara.gov.tr/yasaklama-kararina-iliskin-basin-duyurusu-28062018

“Through social media, various print and visual media outlets, it has come to our attention that Komunist LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) is organizing a film screening of ‘Pride’ at Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center in Çankaya at 19:30 on June 28, 2018.

It was decided that the aforementioned social media shares might deliberately incite a certain segment of society with different characteristics of social class, race, religion, sect or region against another segment of society, that this might lead to imminent peril with regards to public security, that considering the intel regarding the terrorist groups preparing to act against opposing groups, that there may be reactions and provocations against the groups and individuals taking part in the organization due to certain social sensibilities.

Due to these circumstances, from June 28 onwards the film screening at Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center in Çankaya district, and within the scope of our city is banned by our Governorship, based on Article 11/C of the Law Of Provincial Administration, No 5442, within the scope of measures to be taken for the provision of peace, security, right to physical integrity and the public order, following Article 17 of Law No. 2911 on Assembly and Demonstration Marches and Article 11/F of Law No. 2935 on the State of Emergency.”

 

Fear of losing job prevents reporting discrimination

According to the report titled “LGBTI+ Individuals Employed in the Private Sector”; LGBTI+ employees can’t access their rights against discrimination because they fear they may lose their jobs and face new problems if they reveal their gender identity.

Source: “Fear of losing job prevents reporting discrimination(“İşini kaybetme korkusu ayrımcılığı bildirmeyi engelliyor”), Yıldız Tar, kaosgl.org, April 20, 2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=25639

A recently published report by Kaos GL focuses on “the situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Individuals employed in the private sector in 2017”.

This report reveals that only 17% of the LGBTI+ employees are completely ‘out’ and 65% of them had to either deal with discrimination in the workplace or had to hide their identity. In addition to statistical figures, the LGBTI+ employees’ stories and testimonies are also included in the report. These explanations unveil what they have experienced in the private sector.

The participants were asked questions like: “Did you inform the union or the judicial authorities about the discriminatory incidents you’ve been exposed to? How did the process go/develop? If you didn’t, why?”

According to the survey, the authorities were not notified of any incident involving direct or indirect discrimination, a potential discriminatory environment or the need for supportive intervention.

“Fear of losing jobs and the possibility of having to pay a higher cost prevent reporting discrimination.”

In the survey, the situation is explained like this:

“Generally speaking, the attitude represented by our participants against discrimination at the workplace is consistent with the results of our last year’s survey. LGBTI+ employees can’t seek their rights against discrimination because they may lose their jobs, there is the possibility of having to pay a higher cost, fear of revealing their gender identity, the difficulties they may face out of work and other similar reasons. A significant finding is the lack of belief in protecting institutions regarding the protection of their rights against discrimination for LGBTI+ employees. The reason behind this can be the inadequacy in either institutional or legal approaches. For many LGBTI+ employees struggling with discrimination in the workplace may result in severe discrimination or in some situations for them to experience anxiety outside of the workplace and means that many remain silent.

The stories: I didn’t apply, because…

The testimonies in this research reveal the difficulties LGBTI+ employees experience when reporting a discriminative act:

“I made a report to the company’s management. I continued being exposed to transphobia; but unfortunately, I chose to keep quiet because I was afraid I’d lose my job.” (a heterosexual trans man working as an expert in the construction/architecture sector)

“I think it’s pointless to report such incident because we are working for the bosses in the union that I’m affiliated with.” (a gay man working as a worker in the food industry)

“No, in such situation my family would find out too.” (a gay man working as service staff in the entertainment industry)

“I didn’t apply because I don’t believe I can get a result out of it and the law of this country is not equal for everybody.” (a bisexual man working as service staff in the retail sector)

Having to hide oneself is discrimination too

Here are some examples of the responses of the participants who declared that in order not be exposed to discrimination they had to hide their gender identity:

“Should we report or continue hiding? Even if the authorities were informed, it is not hard to guess how painful the procedure would be and how one would be dragged into disappointment.” (a bisexual woman working as a specialist in the health sector)

“I didn’t inform the judicial authorities because I thought I didn’t have enough information and that the result wouldn’t be positive.” (a gay man working as a middle-level manager in an NGO)

“Even if I face it, I don’t think I can find a solution.” (a lesbian woman working as an assistant specialist in banking/finance sector)

The research for 2018 has started.

Work on the questionnaire for 2018’s report has started. This year the study is being conducted together with the Centre for Gender and Women’s Research at Kadir Has University.

This questionnaire consists of 24 questions and promises confidentiality for LGBTI+ employees. This questionnaire does not ask for a name or the company’s name and provides a better understanding of the specific priorities and needs of LGBTI+ employees and companies which take up the cause for gender mainstreaming.

After this information is analysed, an evaluation report will be prepared by comparing it with similar examples in the USA and Germany.

The comparative report will create information on awareness raising and capacity building activities for the private sector and civil society. The report will also provide encourage the development of employment gender equality policies for LGBTI+ employees.

Police brutality against trans individuals in Izmir

Last night, in Alsancak, Izmir, police officers forcefully detained 2 trans individuals after telling them “you can’t sit here”.

Source: “Police brutality against trans individuals in Izmir” (“İzmir’de translara polis şiddeti”), Gözde Demirbilek, kaosgl.org, May 9, 2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=25777

In Izmir, police continue to siege the Alsancak neighbourhood.  Based on the information given by the neighbourhood residents, around 23:00 law enforcement officials took 2 trans women who were sitting in a bakery on Azra Has Street (Bornova Street) to the police station; forcefully and without justification.

After the police detained these women and took their statements, they were fined and released.

The women contacted Kerem Dikmen, a lawyer from Kaos GL and told him how law enforcement officers have been putting the neighbourhood under siege, and how the police are suffocating the trans individuals living in this area.

De facto Unlawful Detention!

Kerem Dikmen pointed out that the administrative fine has become something arbitrary; he said:

“It’s an exception when the one sentenced to pay fines detained by the police, even though this is not stipulated by the law; the sanctions that are imposed on trans women are not being carried out according to the law. There is no difference in clarity by the law between penalising a car driver’s speeding crimes and a trans individual on the street. Considering that it is not necessary to go to the police station for the fine to be issued, such implementation can turn into actual unlawful detention.”

“The area under siege is where trans individuals live and work. Living and working in the same neighbourhood is natural and therefore incidents like this happen while they are shopping from stores in their own neighbourhood. It is not lawfully applicable to sentence someone to pay fines as long as there is no indicated misdemeanour crime.”

 

Women’s and LGBTI organization calls for a boycott against Flormar and Yves Rocher products

94 women’s and LGBTI+ organizations announced an active boycott campaign against Flormar and Yves Rocher products. Flormar has recently fired 115 workers after they joined the Petrol-İş Union in an attempt to improve their working conditions. 5 more workers were fired after applauding their friends’ protests. The workers have been protesting for 22 days [as of June 4th], outside the Flormar factory at the Gebze Organized Industry Site. In response, there have been calls to boycott Flormar and Yves Rocher (which owns a majority of Flormar’s shares) and for protests to be staged in local Flormar stores. There is also an ongoing social media campaign to support the workers, with the hashtag #FlormarDeğilDirenişGüzelleştirir (Resistance makes you beautiful, not Flormar).

94 organizations including KaosGL, Halkevci Kadınlar, Mersin Yedi Renk LGBTI, İstanbul LGBTI+ Solidarity Association, Muamma LGBTI+ Initiative,  Kuir Eskişehir Lgbti Group, LezBiFem, have sent letters to managers of Flormar Turkey and Groupe Rocher.

Here is what they wrote:

“To the management of Flormar Turkey and Groupe Rocher,

The FLORMAR company located at the Gebze Organized Industry Region has fired 120 workers, most of which are women, due to their unionization in May! Union membership is clearly defined as a right, not only by national but also international conventions: Article 51 of the Constitution, Article 23 of Universal Convention of Human Rights, Article 31 or Union Law No. 6356, ILO Agreement No. 87, Article 5 of European Social Charter… All of these laws define our right to unionize and Flormar’s action is illegal as workers were fired due to unionization. Flormar management has not only fired workers but also sought to cut off the means of communication between the workers outside and inside the factory.

Many female workers have been persistent in their resistance since May 15th and want to return to work as union members. Among the demands of the workers are a salary that affords a humane living and further steps towards improving workers’ health and security. Flormar is utterly insincere when it uses the tagline “We can do everything if we want to” in their commercials, while recklessly firing workers for exercising their constitutional rights and supporting their friends!  How can Yves Rocher, which acquired 51% of Flormar’s shares and brags about being nature friendly, explain its hostile attitudes towards the workers? Can the major shareholder support the unconstitutional acts of its firm while France [where Yve Rocher is registered] supports the right to unionize? Will it remain silent to this breach in a different part of the world?

 

We, the signatories of this letter, would like to indicate that we will not be using Flormar or Yves Rocher products and actively organize a boycott campaign against these companies until all of the 120 workers are reinstated. We will not allow you to fire women demanding their rights while shamelessly marketing a strong female image to increase consumption. We are not consuming your products until all workers are reinstated and their demands are met. We know that if we stop, the world stops with us!”

The full list of signatory organizations is below:

78’liler Girişiminden Kadınlar, Anarşist Kadınlar, Ankara Tabip Odası KHKS Komisyonu, Atakent Kadın Meclisi , Ayvalık Bağımsız Kadın İnisiyatifi, Barış İçin Kadın Akademisyenler, Bodrum Kadın Dayanışma Derneği, Cinsel Şiddetle Mücadele Derneği, Çiğli Evka 2 Kadın Kültür Evi Derneği, Demir Leblebi Kadın Derneği, Deriteks Sendikasından Kadınlar, DİSK Basın-İş’li Kadınlar , DİSK Birleşik Metal-İş Sendikası Kadın Komisyonu, DİSK Genel-İş’ten Kadınlar, Dünya Kadın Yürüyüşü Türkiye Koordinasyonu, Ekmek ve Gül, Emek ve Adalet Platformu’ndan Kadınlar, EMEP’li Kadınlar, Erzincan Katre Kadın Oluşumu, Esenyalı Kadın Dayanışma Derneği , Eskişehir Tabip Odası Kadın Komisyonu, Eşit Yaşam Derneği, EŞİTİZ (Eşitlik İzleme Kadın Grubu), FeminAmfi, Feminist Çukurova, Fethiye Kadın Danışma Dayanışma Derneği, Foça Barış Kadınları, GEN-DER Toplumsal Cinsiyet Çalışmaları Kolektifi, Gülsuyu Gülensu Kadın Dayanışma Evi, Halkevci Kadınlar, HDK Kadın Meclisi, HDP İstanbul Kadın Meclisi, İlerici Kadınlar Meclisi, İmece Ev İşçileri Sendikası, İstanbul LGBTİ +Dayanışma derneği, İstanbul Tabip Odası Kadın Komisyonu, İstanbul Üniversitesi Kadın Hakları  Kulübü , İzmir Kadın Dayanışma Derneği, Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu, Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı, Kadın Emeği Kolektifi, Kadın Meclisleri, Kadın Savunma Ağı, Kadın Yazarlar Derneği, Kadın Cinayetlerine Karşı Acil Önlem Grubu, Kadına Şiddete Karşı Müslümanlar Inisiyatifi , Kadının İnsan Hakları- Yeni Çözümler Derneği, Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı (KADAV), Kadın Partisi, Kampüs Cadıları, Kaos GL Derneği, KEİG, KESK Kadın Meclisi, Kırkyama Kadın Dayanışması, Kızkardeşim Kadın Dayanışma Derneği, Kirmizi Biber Dernegi, Kocaeli Kadın Platformu, Körfez Bağımsız Kadın Dayanışması, Kuir Eskişehir Lgbti Topluluğu, Kuzey Ormanları Savunması Kadınları, Lezbiyen Biseksüel Feministler ( LezBiFem), Lotus Kadın Dayanışma ve Yaşam Derneği , Maltepeli Kadınlar, Mardin Tabip Odası KHKS Komisyonu, Mersin LGBT Yedi Renk Derneği, Mersin Tabip Odasi KHKS komisyonu, Mezopotamya Kadın Kooperatifi, Mor Dayanışma, Muamma Futbol Takımı, Muamma LGBTİ+ İnisiyatifi, Muğla Emek Benim Kadın Derneği, Muğla Karya Kadın Derneği, Nar Kadın Dayanışması, Sosyal Dayanışma Ağı SODA, Sosyal Haklar Derneği’nden Kadınlar , Sosyalist Kadın Meclisleri, Sosyalist Yeniden Kuruluş Partisi Kadın Meclisi, Tevgera Jinên Azad , Tez- Koop- İş Sendikası Kadın Dergisi, TGS Kadın ve LGBTİ Komisyonu, TMMOB İstanbul İKK Kadın Komisyonu, TMMOB İzmir İKK Kadın Çalışma Grubu, Toplumsal Dayanışma için Psikologlar Derneği Kadın Komisyonu, Tuzluçayır Kadınları Dayanışma Derneği, Türk Tabipleri Birliği Kadın hekimlik ve Kadın Sağlığı Kolu, Uçan Süpürge Kadın İletişim ve Araştırma Derneği, Üniversite Kadın Meclisleri, Üniversiteli Kadın Kolektifi, Yaşam Evi Kadın Dayanışma Derneği, Yeni Demokrat Kadın, Yeniyol’dan Kadınlar, Yeşil Feministler, Yeşil Sol Kadınlar, Yoğurtçu Kadın Forumu.

(This article is compiled from news published on sendika.org and bianet websites.)

#mynameisayda

A group of LGBTI+ activists have published a statement regarding the recent attacks on LGBTI+ refugees in Yalova. A social media campaign was launched with the hashtag #mynameisayda. The group has opened a Twitter account called “My name is Ayda” and explained the attacks as the following:

OUR CALL regarding the mob lynches and hatred against LGBTI+ asylum seekers in Yalova and across Turkey:

On May 30 our friend Ayda, a trans woman, was assaulted by the residents of her district in Yalova and she was hospitalized. Ayda left her home county due to transphobia, yet she has become the target of the same transphobic acts and discourses here in Turkey. As we were preparing this text, another friend of ours, a gay asylum seeker, was threatened in the middle of the street with a knife.  

This is not the first attack against LGBTI+ asylum seekers in Yalova, but previous incidents were met with silence. This time we will not remain silent to these rights violations. We will  make our voices heard by the Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği) and the United Nations as we seek justice for Ayda as well as for previous cases of violence. We will be using the hashtag #mynameisayda on Sunday (June 3) at 21:00, tagging @UNHumanRights and @UN.

We would like you to join our call by sharing messages publicly with the hashtag.

Together we raise our voices against acts of hatred and violence against our LGBTI friends.

AYDA IS NOT ALONE!

ASYLUM SEEKING LGBTI INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT ALONE!

WITH SOLIDARITY,

 

After the call, the group published an update about the incident, stating that seven of the attackers were detained following the social media campaign. The group wrote: “we would like to thank all of you but our struggle will continue until all LGBTI asylum seekers are safe and our demands are met.”

 

To follow the account and join the campaign, see Mynameisayda

Social Service Specialists to Nihat Hatipoglu: “The Expert Opinion” You Provided is Wrong!

When asked for his opinion by a viewer who said  “I was born a woman; I feel like I’m a man”, theologian Hatipoğlu responded: “You have to control your will.” Social service specialists demanded that theologian Hatipoglu correct his statement following the incident.

Source:  “Social service specialists to Nihat Hatipoglu: ‘the expert opinion’ you provided is wrong!” (Sosyal Hizmet Uzmanlarından Nihat Hatipoğlu’na: Verdiğin “Uzman” Bilgisi Yanlış), bianet, May, 24,2018, https://bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/197474-sosyal-hizmet-uzmanlarindan-nihat-hatipoglu-na-verdigin-uzman-bilgisi-yanlis

Social service specialists published a statement, asking the theology professor Nihat Hatipoglu to correct his mistake conflating sexual identity with sexual orientation.

Hatipoglu was in a live broadcast in Sultanahmet Square for a Ramadan program while he was answering peoples’ questions, one asked: “I was born a woman but I feel myself a man and I like women.”

Hatipoglu replied: “You’re a woman, you were born a woman. This is a test for you and you have to struggle with it. It’s not your desire, but your belief and your mind you must surrender to.”

The Association of Social Service Specialists (SHU-Der) branches in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Diyarbakir, together with Kaos GL and Genc LGBTI+’s Social Services Studies Groups made a joint declaration and have asked Hatipoglu to amend his statement.

The social service specialists said: “The responsibilities of specialists must be recognized, while the ones who have these responsibilities must leave behind their biases/prejudices. We want Nihat Hatipoglu to correct the statement he has made; reminding him that his ‘expert’ opinions were wrong, he should ask for the expertise of psychologists who are working with LGBTI individuals as well as social service specialists.”

The press statement follows below:

“We all know that in 1990 on 17th of May, homosexuality was declassified from the list of International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization.

Because of society’s heteronormative perspective on LGBTI individuals’ sexual identity and sexual orientation, they are facing many problems such as being rejected, misunderstood, repressed, censored, as well as the violation of their fundamental rights.

Lecturer Doc. Koray Basar from Hacettepe University stated on Kaos GL website: “such prejudices from doctors or theologians disguised as ‘expert opinions’ will only turn the lives of the people and their loved ones to hell. Experts have to know their responsibilities and should not let the prejudices take over their responsibilities.”

“As a result of hate crimes, LGBTI individuals are deprived of their most fundamental rights, the right to live and and as such they face difficulties in accessing social services, employment, education, accommodation and healthcare. Problems LGBTI individuals experience in these domains render them potential recipients of social services and psychological counseling.”

“Human rights and social justice are the basis of social service work. Within this framework, based on human rights, the fight against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality, skin colour, gender, sexual identity and sexual orientation, marital status, political opinion, religious belief and mental or physical disability; is one of the responsibilities of this job. Therefore, we demand that Nihat Hatipoglu correct the statement he has made; and we remind him that his “expert” opinions were wrong. Hatipoglu should ask for the opinion of psychologists and other social service specialists who working with LGBTI individuals.”

“In spite of the limited capacity of public services due to a lack of policies, we want to remind that social service specialists and psychologists are here to assist all LGBTI individuals to protect their rights, to provide the psychosocial support they need until a better model is developed to protect against discrimination.”

Hasan Atik: “I will represent our demand to live as equal citizens”

Hasan Atik, an LGBTI+ rights advocate running for a seat in the Turkish Parliament as the 4th candidate on the ballot list from the People’s Democratic Party answered Kaos GL’s questions.

Source: “Hasan Atik: ‘I will represent our demand to live as equal citizens’ “ (Hasan Atik: “Eşit yurttaşlık temelinde yaşam talebimizi dile getireceğim”), Yıldız Tar, kaosgl.org, May 27,2018, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=25904

How did you decide to become a candidate? Was your candidacy as a gay politician in HDP supported?

I have assumed duties in various levels of HDP. In every position I have worked in complete harmony with my party and my colleagues. HDP exists in all colors. When I decided to apply for the candidacy, my fellow party members supported me both at the centre of the party and in local branches and they continue to support me.

You are running for a seat in the parliament from a place which will not elect you. Yet, as far as we know, you are the only open gay candidate. What are your plans for the election campaigns?

It was my request to be a candidate from Edirne. I believe I can be more beneficial for my party in Edirne. No member of HDP is in this election just for a seat, we care about our party. I will continue rights advocacy during the election campaign. I will continue to work for equal citizenship not only for one identity but for all identities. For me, my candidacy is not a means to an end but the end itself; the aim for equal and free citizenship for all peoples of Turkey.

Unfortunately, we live in a country where LGBTI+ rights are not maintained. As an MP candidate, what are your demands regarding the LGBTI+ rights?

Our most urgent demand is the right to live. Equal citizenship, freedom, equality in access to accommodation and employment are also among are demands. I will fight for the legal recognition of hate crime. I will be a strong defender for our demand to live not underdiscrimination but under equal citizenship.

Aside from LGBTI+ rights advocacy, you also advocate  for HIV/AIDS related rights and give counseling on the matter. How will you carry this struggle of yours to political arena?

HIV/AIDS is a pressing matter in Turkey. The state does not have a preventive approach, aside from providing treatment. We will first fight to have sexual health training in the national education syllabi. Then we will educate the society against HIV-phobia. We will fight against stigmatization and discrimination, which are dominant tendencies in Turkey.

Our purpose is to ensure that the Turkish state belongs to everyone living inside our borders. We aim to govern this country by sharing our authority with all segments of the society, all peoples of Turkey. Together, we will rebuild Turkey into a more democratic and livable country. We will win.