AKP and homosexuality

AKP MP: “Homosexuality is one of the biggest threats”

AKP MP Ayşe Doğan made homophobic remarks at the TBMM Commission on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men: “Everybody knows that this can be one of the biggest threats to our society.”

Source: “AKP’li vekil: ‘Eşcinsellik en büyük tehditlerden biri,'” (“AKP MP: ‘Homosexuality is one of the biggest threats,'”) kaosGL.org, 17 February, 2016, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21120

TBMM [The Grand National Assembly of Turkey – Trans.] Commission on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men discussed, in yesterday’s meeting, the proposal that a Human Rights and Equality Foundation of Turkey should be formed as a subsidiary organ in order to focus on protecting and improving human rights based on individual’s dignity, to ensure their right to be treated equally, and to prevent discrimination in benefiting from lawful rights and freedom.

CHP and HDP were critical of the exclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity from the proposal

Based on the Turkish daily Hürriyet’s news, Candan Yüceer, Republican People’s Party (CHP) [opposition party – Trans.] Tekirdağ MP, stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals are faced with discrimination and killed. Yüceer further added that overlooking this problem, and interpreting the recommendations listed in the international agreements would mean ignoring the individuals who are being discriminated against.

Yüceer suggested that excluding sexual orientation and gender identity from the proposal would mean that “all will benefit from the lawful rights and freedom, except for those who are less equal.”

Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) [opposition party – Trans.] İstanbul MP, emphasized that sexual orientation and gender identity must be included in the proposal, and that turning a blind eye to these individuals would not simply make them disappear.

Homophobia from AKP MP

Ayşe Doğan, Justice and Development Party (AKP) [the ruling party – Trans.]  Tekirdağ MP, made the following homophobic remarks in response to Yüceer and Kerestecioğlu:

“There is no need to change our commission’s agenda by including a different subculture, with artificial sexual tendencies that are not in line with human nature and our society’s customs and traditions. Here, we discuss values in professional life as ladies and men. There is no point in bringing up [a] different group’s private life and their private gender identities in bedroom. Everybody knows that this can be one of the biggest threats to our society.”

Kerestecioğlu stated, upon hearing Doğan’s remarks, that she is “flabbergasted, and could not believe her ears,” and that she finds them utterly odd.

Interview with AK LGBT Members

Source: Aydil Durgun, “Başbakan indirin o bayrağı deseydi tabii usta derdik” (“If the Prime Minister said lower that flag, we would have said yes, chief”), Milliyet, 10 August 2014,   http://www.milliyet.com.tr/-basbakan-indirin-o-bayragi/pazar/haberdetay/10.08.2014/1923353/default.htm

A lot has been said about the AK LGBT group that opened a flag in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally. We got together with its founder Melih and member Ali. Even though they claimed that “We are not blindly attached to the AK Party”, they also said, “If Erdoğan had said “lower that flag”, we would have said “okay chief.”

The AK LGBT group was the most talked about issue this week. They opened an LGBT flag in Presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally, and right in the front! People said they are trolls, and asked who would recognize the LGBT flag in the rally and how can there be gays who are AK Party supporters. So I got together with AK LGBT founder Melih (28) and member Ali (26) with similar questions in mind. Kadir (40) from the Conservative Gay Community (MEŞCİT) that observes the AK LGBT also came to the interview. Even though his thoughts are completely opposite of the AK LGBT, he had lots to contribute as well.

They met at common ground as conservative gays at some points. A long conversation that was interrupted by a telephone that plays the call to prayer. None of the three wanted to give their names or have their faces visible.

Being Muslim and gay are two things that are not thought together. Homosexuality is a sin in Islam. What do you think about this?

Melih: Yes, it is contrary according to Islam. But alcohol and slander are also sins in Islam. We commit zina [unlawful sexual intercourse] knowingly. I think that something given by birth cannot be considered a sin by Islam. If you are born gay but do not commit zina, that’s not a sin. If you commit zina and homosexuality, then that is a sin. Being gay does not necessarily mean having sexual intercourse. In terms of sin, we are sinners but we are not kicked out of the religion.

Ali: Being gay and being Muslim are two separate things… My homosexuality is not a barrier to me praying or fasting. No one can say “don’t pray” to someone who drinks alcohol. That would be speaking for God in a way. God says “I forgive the one who drinks alcohol but I don’t forgive you because you speak for me”. Homosexuality is like that as well. God may say “He is a homosexual but I will forgive him because he has done a good deed.” Homosexuality in Islam is based on Lot. In Lot, it is not intercourse with men, I mean homosexual intercourse. It is also incestious relations, claiming equality with God, defaming the prophet, corrupting society…


There are homosexual AKP supporters, TOO, honey!

Source: Azizi, Beren. (2014). Ak Partili Eşcinseller DE Var Tatlım! (There are homosexual AKP supporters, TOO, honey!) kaosGL.org, 03 April 2014, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16237

AK Party LGBT: Of course, as LGBT people, we do not endorse the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP or AK Party- AK means “white”) attitude towards LGBT people.

We started the AK LGBT group to make AKP authorities and those who vote for AKP say, “there are LGBT people who support AKP”, “LGBT people can have various political views outside of parties like the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and we should accept and tolerate this.”

Let us say to ourselves what we have been saying to heterosexuals. We say we can live together despite our differences, and there will be different people within the LGBT community as well; lesbians with headscarves, bisexuals doing their daily prostrations, transsexuals going to perform the hajj, atheist gays, etc.

I wrote this piece in the wake of the debates that ensued after the announcement that LGBT AKP supporters will join the Pride Parade this year. I want to let AK LGBT friends speak, but I have a couple of issues.

I think that consistency is an important discipline. I find it scary that a movement that calls itself the LGBTI movement prescribes a normative LGBTI existence, and think that LGBTI individuals must abide by this prescription. First of all, it is not realistic to think that a country’s majority party would not have an LGBTI constituency. Because I believe that, to be truthful, we cannot draw boundaries around the “you” in “we are one less if you are not there,” and I find it homophobic to draw this boundary.

We know what homophobia is, but it also matters when it occurs and becomes frequent. Homophobia is not a static hatred of homosexuals. Like other instances of hatred, homophobia uses many excuses and pretexts. These pretexts range from ”causing extinction of the human race” to “being a bad role model for children.”

To say “AKP LGBT people” are like this or that corresponds to something similar. If it is sufficient to be an AKP supporter in any situation, why criticize that person specifically on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity?