Discrimination & Hate Crimes

Discrimination and Hate Crimes committed against LGBTI in Turkey

KADEM’s reaction on LGBTI+ to CHP municipalities: Legitimizing perverted orientations

KADEM (Women and Democracy Association) known for its close connection to AKP (Justice and Development Party), targeted the CHP (Republican People’s Party) municipalities that shared messages of support for Pride Week with sexist statements.

Source: “LGBTI+ reaction from KADEM to CHP municipalities: legitimizing perverted orientations”, (KADEM’den CHP’li belediyelere LGBTİ+ tepkisi: Sapkın yönelimler meşrulaştırılıyor), artigercek.com, July 1, 2019, https://www.artigercek.com/haberler/kadem-den-cinsiyetci-aciklama?fbclid=IwAR2p0d9Xiweij4Ybx14_mSdLYVIJFJ7Sxsv6rBQi52VeI6zHh_SRsHHTWog

 

ARTI GERÇEK- KADEM, led by President Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan, targeted CHP municipalities that shared messages of support for the 27th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week.

In KADEM’s official Twitter account sexist expressions such as “perverted orientations” were used to refer to LGBTI+ individuals.

The nationwide statements of support by CHP municipalities for Pride Week were “an attack on future generations, society’s beliefs and values” according to KADEM:

“CHP municipalities have started publishing statements that praise and legitimize homosexuality on social media. Recognized as prepared and planned by a common source, these statements are not acceptable. To praise homosexuality is to legitimize perverted orientations that fall outside the reality of existence. Thus, these statements attack future generations, society’s beliefs and values. As KADEM, with reference to our national and spiritual values, we work with sensitivity in preserving healthy generations. We will fight against all kinds of ideas and entities that threaten the family.”

 

What happened?

As part of Pride Week, the CHP municipalities nationwide shared the statement “Hate will lose, love will win” to show support.

 

A few of the statements are as follows:

 

In spite of hate, long live life!#Pride2019 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1144917560451850242

— Datça Municipality (@datcabelediyesi) June 29, 2019

 

Not Hate but Love will Win! #Pride #Pride2019

pic.twitter.com/wHNG6qnsnT

— Hopa Municipality (@BelediyesiHopa) June 29, 2019

 

We are Equal! We are strong together. Not hate, but love will win. #Pride2019 pic.twitter.com/XmKUfYudqf

— Kemalpaşa Municipality (@kemalpasabld) June 29, 2019

 

Not hate, but love will win! #Pride2019

pic.twitter.com/JBdG0ygzAy

— Borçka Municipality (@Borckabel) June 29, 2019

 

We will always work for an equal and just city, country and world. We are one, equal, stronger together.

Happy LGBTI+ Pride Week. #pride2019

pic.twitter.com/UWnZcl3CR9

— Şişli Municipality (@sislibelediyesi) June 28, 2019

 

No matter the circumstance,

Against all,

For all,

And always

Love will win!

#İstanbulPride2019

pic.twitter.com/a3voWGqXA4

— Maltepe Municipality (@MaltepeBelTr) June 28, 2019

 

Love will win… #Pride2019

pic.twitter.com/amDb0GETH2

— Germencik Municipality ( AYDIN ) (@GermencikBLD) June 29, 2019

 

The world is beautiful with all its colors. Love will save the World; everything starts by loving one person… #Pride2019

pic.twitter.com/B5gnTXQC4l

— Kartal Municipality (@kartalbld) June 30, 2019

 

The world is beautiful with all its colors. In spite of hate, love will win!  #Pride2019 pic.twitter.com/hylyqftEln

— Didim Municipality (@DidimBelediye) June 30, 2019

 

We love all the colors of our neighborhood. #Pride2019

pic.twitter.com/eWdzOoaZtW

— Beşiktaş Municipality (@BesiktasBel) June 30, 2019

 

Rainbow against darkness! #Pride2019

pic.twitter.com/bZU2DvmeUE

— Fethiye Municipality (@fethiyebelediye) June 29, 2019

 

 

 

Pride March held on Mis Sokak, Taksim; police attacked dispersing crowd

Hundreds of people came together in Mis Sokak [Mis Street], Taksim for the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March: “We are here, get used to it, we are not going” After the announcement, as the group dispersed, police attacked with gas bombs and plastic bullets.

Source: Onur Yürüyüşü Mis Sokak’taydı, yürüyüş dağılırken polis saldırdı: Buradayız, alışın, gitmiyoruz! (The Pride March was on Mis Street, the police attacked as the march broke up: We’re here, get used to it, we’re not going!) Ylıdız Tar, KaosGL (https://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=28438) June 30, 2019

 

LGBTI+ people  and anti-discrimination activists met in Taksim today (June 30) for a press release on th LGBTI+ Pride March.

Before the march was due to begin at 17:00, police were deployed to Istiklal Caddesi [Istiklal (Independence) Avenue] and surrounding streets. During the day, they conducted identity checks on people they assumed to be LGBTI+.PHOTO

egemen1

Hundreds of people met on Mis Sokak!

The Istanbul LGBTI + Pride Week Committee gave a press release on Mis Sokak, as a result of a meeting with the police. Hundreds of people gathered in Mis Sokak.

Hundreds of people carrying rainbows, trans and intersex flags often shouted slogans on Mis Sokak: “Don’t keep quite, shout there are homosexuals,” “Whose morality is [the] general morality?” and  “Where are you my love?”

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Ahmet Şık and Gökçe Gökçen were in action!

People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul Deputy Ahmet Şık and Republican People’s Party (CHP) Vice President for Human Rights Gökçe Gökçen also participated in the action.

At 17.00, the press release was read on Mis Sokak. The Pride Week Committee’s statement said: “We do not give up our lives, our solidarity, nor our organized struggle! We are here, get used to it, we are not going.”

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Rainbow flags on buildings!

During the press release rainbow flags were hung from buildings around Mis Sokak. Among the places where the rainbow flag was hung was the Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) building.

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After the press release, songs from the list prepared by the Pride Week Committee were played on the street.

After the press release, the Pride Week Committee said, “We are leaving Mis Sokak and scattering to every street in Taksim. We continue to dance and have fun in the streets! ”

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Two people detained

Two people from Mis Sokak were detained during the press release.

 

Police attacked dispersing crowd

In Mis Sokak and surrounding streets police attacked the dispersing crowds with gas bombs and plastic bullets. Police also attacked places where those who fled the attacks stayed using gas bombs.

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Under the blockade of the police, marchers in Mis Sokak were attacked with  dogs. Those sitting in the area were also attacked with gas bombs and tables were upturned. 

 

Walking in Tatavla

On the other hand, LGBTI + phobia opponents who came together in Tatavla walked along Kurtuluş Caddesi {Kurtuluş (Liberation) Avenue]. During the march with rainbow flags, the slogan “We will not turn our backs, we will not turn our backs, we will not turn our backs on this way” was shouted.

 

Walk from Talimhane to Taksim Square

Another group marched from Talimhane to Taksim Square with rainbow flags and slogans.

 

Press release: We’re here, get used to it, we’re not going!

Photos: Egemen Kepekci

Press Release: 17th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March

17th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March, which we organised for today, has been banned by the Istanbul Governorate for the fifth time!

The Istanbul Governorate, which closes Istiklal Street to all social opposition groups for security reasons, has unlawfully rejected our application to gather in Bakırkoy – a legally announced public demonstration place – with the claim that we are a group which society is ‘hesitant’ about. This ban shows that not only Taksim but Istanbul as a whole is prohibited for LGBTI+ people. The hostility towards the LGBTI+ community has even become a state policy with other bans in Antalya, Mersin, METU [Middle East Technical University], and Izmir.

 

It is once again demonstrated that those who ban our Pride March with copy-and-paste reasons such as public peace and security, terror, public morality, and public health can not govern the state. Previously organised in a peaceful manner, the Pride March does not threaten the public peace – it is the law enforcement who has attacked the public in Pride Marches in the last five years.

 

It is ironic that those who are abusing their power, stealing from the public, and presenting their own obsession of power as a perpetuity problem of the state are striving to ban us on the ground of so-called public morality. Those state officials who do not hesitate to fuel the hate against LGBTI+ people, and those who targeted the LGBTI+ community three times in a week for a couple of votes they wished to receive should not forget the fact that LGBTI+s are the society itself. Those who point at us as a target are a handful of power addicts who will sink into oblivion.

 

We persistently repeat for those who ignore the demands of LGBTI+ people, for those who attempt to show us as a “disoriented” and “hesitant” group: We are determined in our struggle, and we know what we want very well! Sexual orientation and gender identity must be recognised in the Constitution! Homicides targeting the LGBTI+ community must not go unpunished, and the perpetrators must not be granted abatement for good conduct. The rights of LGBTI+ people, who are blocked from accessing fundamental human rights such as education, health, and housing, must be legally secured. Our demands neither disturb the public peace nor threatens  public security. Our demands are essential in a constitutional state in order for us to access equal citizenship rights. Those who are banning our march today must know that the public peace will only be provided if all the oppressed social groups, including LGBTI+ people, seize their rights and are assured their lives. Social peace is not possible in an unequal society! 

 

It is the 50th year of our organised struggle for a proud live since the spark that was ignited at Stonewall. In the 50th year of Stonewall, and in the 27th year of Istanbul Pride Week, we once again acknowledge the struggle by taking spirit from it [as] we fight for our bodies, desires, rights, and existence all over the world, from Orlando to New Delhi, from Palestine to Amsterdam: we neither abandon our lives and solidarity, nor collective struggle! We are here! Get used to it – we are not going away!

Happy 27th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week and 17th Pride March!

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While some Pride Events are no longer banned in Izmir, Court refused to lift the ban on the Pride March

Source: Izmir denied the request to lift the ban on Pride March (İzmir Onur Yürüyüşü yasağının kaldırılması talebi reddedildi) https://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=28378 21 June 2019

The court decided to reject the request to lift the ban decision on the Izmir Pride March. The Pride Week Committee reiterated their call: Tomorrow (June 22) at 18:00 we will meet in front of the Kıbrıs Şehitleri Starbucks (The Old Leman Culture Center) to deliver our press release.

Izmir’s 1st Administrative Court, which had on June 19 prevented the carrying out of a ban on some activities within the scope of Izmir Pride Week, announced today its decision on the prohibition of the march.

The court rejected the request of Genç LGBTI+ Association to lift the Governors ban of the Izmir Pride March to be held tomorrow (22 June).

The court declared that “…(the march would be an) obvious and possible danger that a crime could be committed ”. The Izmir Pride March has in fact been free from strife for years.

#PrideCantBeBanned

About the court’s decision İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee has stated:

“The court’s decision is announced. The request to lift the ban of the 7th LGBTI + Pride March was denied. Tomorrow (June 22) at 18:00 we will meet in front of Kıbrıs Şehitleri Starbucks (Old Leman Culture Center) to make our press release. We welcome all LGBTI + individuals and rights defenders! ##OnurYasaklanamaz

What had happened?

Izmir Governorship had banned the 7th Izmir LGBTI+ Pride Week on June 14th with the below comment.

“Law No. 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations and the Implementation of the Law No. 5442 in accordance with the Provincial Administration Law No. 11 / AC articles which points at the peace and security of people living in our province, the immunity of people, ensuring public safety and well-being; ensuring national security, public safety and well-being; national security, public order, prevention of crime, protection of general health and the rights and freedoms of others or the prevention of possible violent and terrorist incidents ”.

 

Trans women were attacked in Antep, the police took the attacked women into custody

In a park in Antep, trans women were attacked. The police officers responded to the incident by arresting the women who were attacked. The police also harassed the women during custody, saying “how can a man be girly?”. After the attack, tape was attached over the park bench. We talked to İffet, who is one of the people taken into custody, about the event.

Source: Trans women were attacked in Antep, the police took the women into custody (Antep’te trans kadınlar saldırıya uğradı, polis kadınları gözaltına aldı), Yusuf Gülsevgi, Kaos GL, https://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=28341&fbclid=IwAR30FUuLdHFlsaFGv01ZNgU28t0saYKoMS4Kf3M-dxIENfS0IL12WWwlBiY, June 18, 2019

Can you introduce yourself to us briefly?

Of course. I am İffet, I am a 31 years-old transvestite. I work as a sex worker for a living. The moment when I started transitioning, people turned me into a vampire. In other words; I am home during the day time and on the streets during the night time. I live like a vampire. That is all.

You were attacked in Çınarlı Park. How did it happen?

It happened like this: I go to the park with the girls almost every night to find a client. There was an argy-bargy situation two days ago. Some people attacked one of our friends. The police officers arrived immediately. They took all of us into custody and released us the next day. When we came back to the park, we realized that they had covered the benches with tape and a police car was standing by.

You said that you were taken into custody, how did the police officers treat you there? Were you harassed physically or psychologically?

I swear you are nuts. There is a transvestite and a police officer, how can the officer stay silent in this situation? (Laughs) Not physically, but I was harassed verbally.

What did they say?

“What’s all this fuss in the middle of the night? You were the last thing we needed tonight. How can a man be girly?” they said.

You mentioned about tape being tied up to the benches…

To me, this means that they don’t want us. In other words, this means that a battle has started. I was born a fighter. I have always fought with people and I still live. And I will fight to win this battle.

Right after all this, the manager of the teachers’ lodge close to the park announced that LGBTI+s cannot enter the public coffee house of the lodge. What do you think about this decision?

There is a human rights violation here. The manager of the teachers’ lodge paves the way for discrimination through this decision, gives hatred a green light. What kind of morality is this, invading our living spaces?

What is your message about all the happenings?

I am not the first transvestite, nor will I be the last one. We have existed throughout history and we will exist in the future, too.

 

Love has won in İzmir: The ban on Pride Week has been lifted!

Source: Love has won in İzmir: The ban on Pride Week has been lifted! (İzmir’de aşk kazandı: Onur Haftası yasağı kaldırıldı!), Pembe Hayat, http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler/detay/2176/izmirrsquode-ask-kazandi-onur-haftasi-yasagi-kaldirildi, June 19, 2019

The Young LGBTI+ Association (Genç LGBTI+ Derneği) has successfully appealed against the ban imposed by the Governorship of İzmir on the 7th İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week and the ban has been lifted.

On June 14, the Izmir Governorship made a statement through its official website, banning the İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week which was planned to start on June 17.

“Pursuant to the Law no.2911 on Meetings and Demonstration Marches, the Regulation on Implementation of this Law, and Article 11/A-C of the Law no.5442 on Provincial Administration, several activities & events planned to be organized were banned by our governorship in order to ensure the peace and safety of the city’s people, to protect their right of privacy, the safety of the economy, public security, and welfare; to protect national security and public order, to prevent crimes, to protect public health, public decency, and other people’s rights and freedom, and to prevent possible violence and terrorist activities.”

İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week made a public statement through social media after the governorship introduced the ban and stated that they condemn the decision. “In the current political atmosphere of Turkey, especially over the last 4 years, Pride Week activities and events organized in many cities were banned and LGBTI+ activities & events were banned in Ankara for an indefinite period. All of these bans have a goal to threaten and intimidate LGBTI+ individuals for being visible and having raised their voices.”

The ban is lifted!

Genc LGBTI+ Association’s appeal against execution of the ban was heard by the court today [June 19]. After another hearing at the court for İzmir Pride March on Friday it will be decided whether the two scheduled events “Bondage Workshop” and “Sex Toy Workshop” will still take place. All other events have permission to take place in line with the court decision to repeal the ban on the 7th İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week. The decision was taken with one vote in favour of enforcing the ban and two votes for the bans repeal. One of those two votes repealing the ban, commented that this decision should be applied to all pride activities in Izmir.

The Governorship of Antalya has banned the 3rd Antalya Pride Week!

The Governorship of Antalya has banned Antalya LGBTI+ Pride March and “all the related activities and events”. The governor’s office put forward “public decency” as the reason for this discriminatory ban.

Source: The Governorship of Antalya has banned the 3rd Antalya Pride Week! (Antalya Valiliği, 3. Antalya Onur Haftası’nı yasakladı!), Kaos GL, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=28317 June 15, 2019

 

The governorship of Antalya has banned the 3rd Antalya LGBTI+ Pride Week stating the reason as “to prevent dissident groups from facing each other, to ensure the current peaceful environment, national safety, public order, public health and decency not to be disturbed, to block possible violence and terrorist activities, to preserve the unbreakable unity of the government, state, and nation, to protect the rights and freedom of other people,” pursuant to  Law no.2911 on Meetings and Protest Marches, the regulations on implementation of this law, and Article 11/A-C of the Law no.5442 on Provincial Administration.

The governor’s office has announced that “the Pride March and all the activities & events which will be organized afterwards in relation to that, such as public statements and activities/events by way of support to similar protests, as well as all the activities (marches, public statements, hunger strike, sit-in protests, setting up a booth or tent) which are follows-up to the same issue” have been banned in the whole city for 15 days.

Lawyer Ahmet Çevik: “We don’t accept the unlawful ban decision”

Lawyer Ahmet Çevik talked to KaosGL.org about the ban decision of the Governorship of Antalya:

“Today, the police officers of Antalya Security Branch Directorate, who came to the office of BIZ Association, notified [us of] the ban decision of the Governorship of Antalya. However, we refused to announce it because we don’t accept this unlawful ban decision. The ban decision of the Governorship of Antalya is contrary to the international agreements and to our own legislation. Let me tell you more clearly, the ban decision is contrary to the Istanbul Convention, the principles of equality in the constitution, the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, and domestic legal order. Therefore, we refuse to announce it, the Governorship of Antalya should announce the ban to the public.”

Stating that the ban decision of the Governorship doesn’t only involve the activities within this week, but it also bans all the LGBTI+ activities throughout the whole city for 15 days and even protesting against the ban has been banned,  Çevik said:

“The Governorship has not only banned the Pride Week activities which will take place for 3 days. It banned all the LGBTI+ activities which will be organized in the whole of Antalya for 15 days starting from June 15. In addition to that, calling for LGBTI+ activities and reactions & protesting against it [the ban] in the digital world are banned, too. Moreover, no human rights associations or activist can condemn this ban or make a public statement about it within the borders of the city because these acts will also be considered as LGBTI+ activities. To sum, ban, ban, ban. Everything is banned!”

It is banned in Izmir, too!

The Governorship of Izmir announced a decision yesterday (June 14) and banned the 7th Izmir LGBTI+ Pride Week stating similar reasons. The Governorship of Izmir gave the reason for it as “to ensure the people’s right to privacy, safety of the economy, public security, and welfare; to ensure national security, public security, and welfare; to protect national security, public order, to prevent crimes, to protect public health, public decency, and the other people’s rights and freedom, to prevent possible violence and terrorist activities.”