Author: elcordobeslerinbesincisi

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.”