censorship in Turkey

Yeditepe University knows no limits in homophobia

Source: “Yeditepe Üniversitesi Homofobide Sınır Tanımıyor!” (“Yeditepe University knows no limits in homophobia,”), KaosGL.org, May 8, 2014,http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16550

Yeditepe University administration knows no limits in homophobia: censorship, prevention of academic study, offenses against freedom of association.

Anti-homophobic and transphobic students from Yeditepe University wrote a declaration regarding ongoing, frequently occuring homophobic and transphobic attitudes of the college administration. Concerned by possible threats to their ongoing education, the students could not reveal their names but spoke of what they experiences at the college:

LGBTI visibility is a problem for the administration”

“As LGBTI and ally students, we would like to state our relentlessness because of the frequently occurring homophobic and transphobic events in the school. Although there are LGBTI people in the school, the LGBTI visibility and its organization disrupts the status quo and is censored and obstructed by certain university institutions. We made a list of unfortunate events and would like to share them with you.”

Our right to organize is obstructed”

“Like LGBTI organizations and communities in many universities abroad, there are LGBTI organizations in various universities in Turkey. However in Yeditepe University, the idea of an LGBTI club is perceived as a disturbance. When we applied to the authorities for a gender studies club, the petition was not even considered for approval and the authorities stated verbally that these kinds of organizations would disrupt the school and damage its reputation.”

In their opinion, there can be no academic study over gender!

“Moreover, they claimed that there can be no academic study in this field. Our regulations, activity guidelines, proposed conferences and events that we would like to host, as listed on our application, were determined not worthy to be evaluated. The application dates announced to us were always postponed to future dates; but during this time, other clubs were permitted to be established. Furthermore, they permitted certain clubs to be founded on the dates we were not allowed. This is an indication as to how arbitrary in their decisions and how homophobic in their perspective the university administration is. To this date, we do not have any clubs for gender studies and the efforts of other clubs on this issue have been censored.”


Homosexuals Won, TRT Lost Again!

Source: Halil Kandok, “Eşcinseller kazandı, TRT gene kaybetti!” (“Homosexuals Won, TRT Lost Again!,” ), Radikal Blog, 11 May 2014, http://blog.radikal.com.tr/Sayfa/escinseller-kazandi-trt-gene-kaybetti-59346

The Eurovision contest took place, again without TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) this year, and the Europeans did not miss TRT at all. The same enthusiasm and thrill were present. For several years some countries like Italy and Austria boycotted the contest and refrained from participating. Did we miss them then? No. Why would they miss us? TRT may continue to present the point system as an excuse to boycott the contest and pretend like it sits at the center of the world when in fact everyone is off having fun.

Actually, TRT is probably glad that they were not a part of Eurovision this year. Because this year would have been devastating for them. They would not have been able to tolerate a trans woman with a beard. Given that even our homosexuals and transsexuals have trouble coping with this sight, which contradicts gender perceptions, TRT would not have been able to indulge this at all, being the sexist institution that it is. As far as I know, they did not even air the show. As they declared last year, it seems that they were unwilling to spend money on a show that brings no ratings!

The winner of this year’s Eurovision is not just Austria’s contestant Conchita Wurst. Homosexuality and transsexuality are also winners. Conchita ranked at the top from beginning to end, receiving 10 or 12 points from nearly all of the participating countries. This shows that Europe no longer has a problem with homosexuality or transsexuality. Obviously, LGBTI communities would have voted for Conchita as well. This shows that LGBTI communities have been able to organize together.


The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) Issues Fines to Music Videos by Teoman and Demir Demirkan!

Source: “RTÜK’ten Teoman ve Demir Demirkan kliplerine ceza!,” (“The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) Issues Fines to Music Videos by Teoman and Demir Demirkan!”) Radikal, 03 February 2014, http://www.radikal.com.tr/hayat/rtukten_teoman_ve_demir_demirkan_kliplerine_ceza-1173918

RTÜK pronounced Teoman’s music video “Dancing Alone” (Tek Başına Dans) as “voluptuous” and Demir Demirkan’s video “Beyond Love’”(Aşktan Öte) as “erotic.” Two TV channels which broadcasted the clips were given warning fines.

In the meeting of RTÜK, Teoman’s music video  aired on 21 November 2013 on Güney TV, which broadcasts from Tarsus. According to the RTÜK report, “The video clip consists of voluptuous images in which women working in strip-tease clubs play tricks to seduce men. Women are doing a strip-tease with underwear and erotic wear, which reduces the human body to an instrument of sexual incitement.”


Sel Publishing: “The Assaults against Freedom of Thought and Expression are Completely Unacceptable”

Source: Kaos GL, “Düşünce ve Yaratım Özgürlüğüne Yapılan Saldırılar Kabul Edilemez,” (“The Assaults against Freedom of Thought and Expression are Completely Unacceptable,”) 19 December 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15442

The court has decided to delay the prosecution of the case regarding “indecency” against Sel Publishing, which had been brought on because of Apollinaire’s The Exploits of a Young Don Juan. İrfan Sancı, the owner of Sel, answered kaosGL.org’s questions about the lawsuit process and the concept of “indecency.”