Discrimination

Journo: Gay tourists taken into custody in Turkey and deported without any reason

Two gay tourists coming to Turkey from the United Kingdom were taken into custody upon their arrival at the airport without any justification and were deported.

Source: Burcu Karakas, “Eşcinsel turistler İzmir’de gözaltına alındı, gerekçesiz sınır dışı edildi,” Journo, 20 October 2017, https://journo.com.tr/escinsel-turistler-sinir-disi-edildi

Bilal Sadiq, the British citizen who was sent back to his country, said, “As far as we can tell, the officer who checked our phones did not like what he saw and did not let us in the country because we are gay. We are shocked.” Bilal Sadiq (28) a British citizen of Pakistani origin and Polish citizen Tomasz Pawel Walus (25) came to Izmir on Oct. 14 to visit a friend. A person approached them while they were waiting at the passport control line in Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. The police officer dressed as a civilian asked them the reason for their visit to Turkey. Bilal Sadiq told Journo that the officer asked him of his origins, told them to get out of the line and wait elsewhere. Said said “We first thought he was asking questions for control purposes. Half an hour later another person in charge came and asked for our phones.”

‘When is Gay Pride Walk organized?’

Sadiq said that the officer read his WhatsApp messages after taking the phone and looking at the photos. “They realized that we are gay. Then he asked for my friend’s phone. He asked him questions too. Then we went to an office.” Sadiq reported that he was also asked if he and his friends were lovers. The young British man said that after he explained they were just friends, he was asked when the LGBTI Pride Walk in Turkey is organized:

“While asking this, they were showing the photos to each other and laughing. As I don’t speak Turkish, I didn’t understand what they were saying. They told us that we can’t enter Turkey and we have to go back to England. I was shocked when I heard this. This wasn’t the first time I came to Turkey but it’s the first time I experienced such a thing. I never had any problems before. They didn’t give any reasons either.”

‘No one gave any reason for the decision to deport’

Sadiq said that his friend Tomasz Pawel Walus asked why they were being deported after taking back the phones but received no reply, and that the officers became aggressive when they wanted a written document. “None of the authorities at the airport gave us a reason. We were where we were taken into custody. I was able to let my friends in Turkey know, they couldn’t believe what happened either” said the British tourist, explaining that the authorities wanted to send them back to their countries on the first flight but when the pilot did not accept them they had to spend the night in custody at the airport. When they were told that they would have to wait until Wednesday, the two friends suggested that they could go to another city besides London, but they were told that this was not possible, and that the procedure must be followed. Later they were told they can go elsewhere if they are willing to pay for themselves. The tourists had to buy a ticket to Munich, paying 2000 liras for a one way tickets and were deported on October 15.

‘Their attitudes changed after they looked at the photos’

They were told that their passport would be given to the pilot and they would be able to get them back after landing, but the airport authorities gave their passports back before they got on the flight. When they arrived Germany they thought they would be received by German authorities but that did not happen. Sadiq said “As far as we can tell, the officer who checked our phones did not like what he saw and did not let us in because we are gay.” Sadiq suggested that the officers changed their attitude after looking at the photos: “They were asking questions politely. Then they changed their attitudes and got rude. I wasn’t expecting this. It has been a terrible experience”.

The gay tourists also stated that they called the British Consulate but the consulate authorities told them they couldn’t do anything. Sadiq said that neither he nor his friend has any priors, that they haven’t filed any complaints about the deportation yet but are thinking of starting legal procedures.

 

 

 

Homophobic attack in Istanbul: “Faggots, nonbelievers can’t come in here”

Three young gay men were attacked by homophobic insult “faggots, nonbelievers can’t come in here” in Istanbul. Police came late to scene of crime and prolonged process of testimony. The hospital delayed treatment on the excuse that ‘we don’t have tomography’.

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Homophobic attack in Istanbul: “Faggots, nonbelievers can’t come in here”,” KaosGL.org, 3 July 2015, http://kaosgl.org/page.php?id=19770

Just days after police attacks on Pride March and hate campaigns organized via social media, three young gay men were attacked at night in Istanbul on June 30.

Forum AVM security officers did not help the young people, who were attacked in Bayrampasa Forum, either.

Attackers ran away as police arrived late to the scene of the crime.

“We are not going to let you in Bayrampasa, you faggots!”

M.Ö, one of the attacked gay men, told the moments of the attack to KaosGL.org:

“We went to Bayrampasa Forum AVM, while passing a wall someone suddenly said ‘what are you looking at’. We were looking at our phones at that moment; I turned my back to look at my friends and escape from there but he suddenly jumped on us. That one screamed and two friends of his pounded us, they were also insulting us by saying that ‘we are not going to let you in Bayrampasa, you faggots!’, ‘we are going to kill and bury you in here’ and ‘faggots, nonbelievers can’t come in here.’

“Police came late, attackers ran away”

Indicating that the security in the mall only watched the attacks, M.Ö said police came late to the scene of the crime:

“It almost took one hour for the police to come. We went to the Bayrampasa police station, they did not take care of us for such a long time. They made us wait for hours recklessly without even taking our statements. While they should have taken us to the hospital for a battery report, they told us to do it ourselves. After Lawyer Rozerin Seda Kip’s talked to them on the phone, they took our statements but they did not want to file it as a hate attack. They tried to gloss over the event but at the end we were able to convey everything objectively.”

“It is directly related to the attacks on Pride March”

M.Ö indicated that the attacks are related to being shown as target and the hate campaigns that started before and after Pride March:

“It is directly related to the Pride March, insults against us are all because of it. Insults are parallel to the hate organized via social media. It is a place we went to before but we did not encounter any attacks like this before.”

Lawyer Kip: The recklessness of the police and the hospital is more disappointing

Lawyer Rozerin Seda Kip criticized the police by saying that they did not fulfill their duty because of their “reckless behaviors” and homophobic discrimination.

“The recklessness of the police and the hospital is more disappointing actually. Police took the victims to the station but did not take their statements for hours. I was able to talk to the officers after persisting for a long time and arguing with them. I told them that they should take their statements and take the victims to the hospital, otherwise; as the police, they will be responsible for the assault.”

“After nearly one hour, one of the victims called me and told me that they were still waiting for their statements to be taken and so, I told them that they should wait for the statements and reminded the police that it’s the police’s duty to go the hospital together to get report on the beating.”

Lawyer Kip summarized the discrimination at the hospital:

“First the victims went to the Bayrampasa State Hospital as wounded victims, the hospital tried to gloss over the event especially after the Pride March. Then the victims are sent back with an excuse that they don’t have tomography equipment. On the other side, the police did not want to take them to another hospital even though it’s their responsibility. These are serious violations and homophobic discrimination.”

Gender Distribution of Candidates in Party Nominations for the 2015 General Elections in Turkey

No Equality, No Justice!

The practice of the 10% election threshold blocks various social groups from being represented in the Parliament and invalidates the voters’ will. Political parties exacerbate the situation by excluding women.

Source: “Eşitlik Yoksa Adalet de Yoktur” (“No Equality, No Justice!”), Kadın Koalisyonu [Women’s Coalition], 19 May 2015, http://www.kadinkoalisyonu.org/yeni/esitlik-yoksa-adalet-de-yoktur/

The practice of the 10% election threshold blocks various social groups from being represented in the Parliament and invalidates the voters’ will. [In this system, political parties that receive less than 10% of the votes cannot join the parliament. For instance, in 2002, as a result of numerous parties failing to pass the threshold, more than 40% of the electorate (14+ million) ended up not being represented in the parliament. Instituted following the military coup of 1980, the threshold was and still is routinely used against parties that do not follow the traditional state lines such as Kurdish rights, and for a time, Islamists. –Trans.]

Political parties exacerbate the situation by excluding women. Of the 4 parties most likely to pass the threshold, it was only the HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] that came close to an equal male-female ratio with 45% women candidates. It was also the HDP that nominated women in all the cities of the nation except 3. [In contrast] The AKP [the ruling party, Justice and Development Party] did not nominate women in 37 cities, CHP [Republican People’s Party] in 41 cities, and MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] in 51 cities. Yet, these are parties that have been in the parliament for years and that have been receiving election funding.

Women are everywhere. Yet women are absent in political party nominee lists! We will give neither our votes nor our affirmation to those parties that do not nominate women! We will vote for those who take steps towards equality, liberty, and justice.

Gender Equality in MP Candidacies

In total, only 26.6% of the candidates are women.

In terms of the percentage of women candidates they nominated for the 2015 General Election, the Communist Party came in 1st with 100%, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) came in second with 45%, and the People’s Liberation Party and Anatolia Party shared the 3rd place with 34% each. Of these political parties, only the HDP has a group in Parliament.

women-candidates-per-political-party.png

[Among the political parties most likely to pass the 10% threshold, only women nominations by the HDP’s exceeded 20%. HDP is currently not the main opposition party in Turkey.]

women-candidates-per-popular-political-party.png

[Candidates’ chances of being elected decrease significantly when they are not nominated from the first rank of their party. These chances decrease even more if their name is not included in the second rank. Only 9% of women candidates are nominated for the first list by the CHP, MHP, HDP, and AKP combined (pie chart on the left). 14% are nominated from the second list (pie chart in the middle). 77% of the women candidates, i.e. 402 candidates from the CHP, MHP, HDP, and AKP are nominated from neither the first nor from the second list (pie chart on the right).]

women-candidates-per-list-priority.png

The percentage of women candidates did not to surpass 30% in Turkey’s 72 electoral districts!

Political Parties and Independents Number of Women Candidates Percentage of Women Candidates Total Number of Candidates Number of Electoral Districts
The Right Path Party 86 25.07% 343 56
Anatolia Party 189 34.36% 550 85
Rights and Liberties Party 122 25.26% 483 75
Communist Party 550 100.00% 550 85
Community Party 104 18.91% 550 85
Right and Justice Party 29 19.73% 147 43
Center Party 98 20.25% 484 73
Social Negotiation and Development Party 91 25.93% 351 55
People’s Liberation Party 195 35.45% 550 85
Liberal Democrat Party 86 21.03% 409 58
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 67 12.18% 550 85
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 249 45.27% 550 85
Peace Party 42 7.64% 550 85
Republican People’s Party (CHP) 107 19.45% 550 85
Justice and Development Party (AKP) 100 18.18% 550 85
Democratic Leftist Party 117 21.27% 550 85
Nation’s [Yurt] Party 67 20.36% 329 56
Democrat Party 76 13.82% 550 85
Nation’s [Vatan] Party 137 24.91% 550 85
Independent Turkey Party 98 17.82% 550 85
Independent Candidates 15 9.09% 165 46
Total 2625 26.62% 9861

On the 2015 General Elections and the Data

The 2015 Parliamentary Election will be conducted in 81 cities, with a total of 85 electoral districts. 20 political parties formally registered 9,696 candidates with the Supreme Committee of Elections, in addition to the 165 registered independent candidates. These candidacies were published in the Supreme Committee of Elections website. In addition to the lack of categorization of candidates by gender in political party websites, the Supreme Committee of Elections itself has no awareness of gender with regards to the nominations. As such, in order to obtain a 99% reliability rate, whenever in doubt, we researched candidates online and attempted to confirm our findings with the limited number of parties that showed the sensibility to share their data with us.

 

Update 08 June 2015: According to Lambdaistanbul, women obtained 98 parliamentary seats out of the 550 in Turkey’s June 07 2015 General Elections. Accordingly, the rate of representation of women in Turkey’s Parliament increased by %3.5 from the 24th Parliament, elected in 2011, to 17.8%. In contrast, women constituted 49.82% of Turkey’s population according to the 2014 results of the Address Based Population Registration System.

 


Translator’s Note: The figures provided in this text have been prepared by LGBTI News Turkey volunteers in the course of the Turkish-English translation of the source text for translation purposes using the raw data provided by the source text. These figures are released under a CC-BY-SA license.

Turkish Bath owner, who did not let a trans woman in, receives a 3,000 TL fine for discrimination

The owner of a Turkish bath who did not let a trans woman enter the establishment was charged and fined for discrimination. Lawyer Eren Keskin stated that this is the first time a punishment was given under this article related to trans individuals and said “I think that this verdict will give confidence to trans individuals on this matter. If the Supreme Court approves this verdict, they may live life a bit easier.”

Source: İsmail Saymaz, “Trans kadını içeri almayan hamamcıya, ayrımcılık suçundan 3 bin TL ceza” (“Turkish Bath owner, who did not let a trans woman in, receives a 3 thousand TL fine for discrimination), Radikal, 30 January 2015, http://www.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/trans_kadini_iceri_almayan_hamamciya_ayrimcilik_sucundan_3_bin_tl_ceza-1282917

İpek [Ebru] Kırancı, a trans individual who was not let into the historical Galatasaray Bath in İstanbul, where she went with a female friend, filed a complaint about the owner who said “We do not let in trannies like you, go to a bath of your own!” The owner received a fine of 3,000 TL [1240 USD] for the charges of “discrimination” regulated in Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Law (TCK). Kırancı’s lawyer Eren Keskin noted that this was the first time a sentence was given under this article and said “I think that this verdict will give confidence to trans individuals on this matter. If the Supreme Court approves this verdict, they may live life a bit easier.”

İpek Kırancı, who lives in Istanbul and who changed her sex to be a woman years ago, allegedly went to the Galatasaray Bath on December 26, 2013, with her friend Helga Maria Margereta to take a bath. Ahmet Karagüney, who owns the bath, rejected Kırancı and her friend, saying “You absolutely cannot enter!” even though she showed her pink ID card. Thereupon Kırancı filed a complaint through her lawyer Eren Keskin. A lawsuit against Karagüney was opened, on the charges of “discrimination based on language, race, color, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion, sect and similar reasons”  regulated by the Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Law, with a request of imprisonment from six months to a year.

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Fraud Scheme with Gay Sex Offer

Source: DHA, “Eşcinsel ilişki teklifiyle dolandırıcılık” (“Fraud scheme with gay sex offer”), NTV, 13 January 2015, http://www.ntv.com.tr/turkiye/escinsel-iliski-teklifiyle-dolandiricilik,AkzknWbK306m6KUqX4S1rQ

Fraudsters Zeki T. (22), Gokhan K. (21) and Kaan O. (21), operating a three-man criminal gang on the streets of Istanbul have been caught.

It was revealed that one of the suspects, Kaan O. (21) approached strangers on the street offering them gay sex, before the two other culprits, claiming to be police officers, came up to the victims asking “Are you not ashamed of having had sex with this man?” and threatened to  take them to the police station.

The victims who feared humiliation at the police station have been paying up between 300 TL to 20,000 TL towards an alleged fund for the families of martyrs. It was discovered that the suspects have been taking the victims to a mosque, forcing them to perform ablutions and prayers, and making them swear they “haven’t had homosexual sex” before taking their money.

Offenders Force Ablutions and Prayers

An investigation by the Public Security Directorate exposed an extraordinary fraud scheme. Filing a complaint in Istanbul’s Kucukcekmece district, a man recalled “I was approached by a stranger on the street. He told me he was homosexual and asked if I wanted to have sex with him. I shrugged him off and started walking, when two men came up to me and showed me their police IDs. They accused me of having had gay sex with the man with whom I spoke earlier and wanted to take me to the police station. I tried to explain to them I had never seen that man before in my life. They then took me to a mosque to perform an ablution and a prayer, and made me swear I was telling the truth by placing my hand on the Qur’an. Then they asked me to make a donation for the families of martyrs. I gave them the 100 liras I had in my pocket. They told me this was not enough and that they would be calling on me soon.

Suspects Caught at Meeting Point

Following this complaint, police officers went after the suspects who sought 600 TL as additional payment from the fraud victim. Two of the suspects were arrested upon their arrival at a shopping centre where they had arranged a meet up to collect the sum. Statements from suspects Zeki T. (22) and Gokhan K. (21) led to the detainment of the third suspect Kaan O. (21) who had been playing the part of the gay man in these incidents.

Identified by Four Victims

 It was revealed during the suspects’ interrogation at the Pickpocketing and Fraud Bureau that these men were the suspects of four similar fraud incidents across Kucukcekmece, Uskudar, Esenler and Bagcilar neighbourhoods. They were identified at the Public Security Directorate by four separate fraud victims.

The suspects were taken to the judiciary after the police interrogation. Following their statements at the Prosecution Office, Gokhan K. and Kaan O. were arrested in court. The third suspect Zeki T. was released on bail.

Social work experts: the fight against anti-LGBTI discrimination is our responsibility!

Social Workers Association: “We are deeply concerned that we lack a social policy aimed at fighting anti-LGBTI discrimination.”

Source: “Sosyal hizmet uzmanları: LGBTİ’lere ayrımcılıkla mücadele, sorumluluğumuz!”, (“Social work experts: the fight against anti-LGBTI discrimination is our responsibility!”) KaosGL.org, 9 January 2015, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18454


The Social Workers Association Headquarters has issued a written statement following Eylül Cansın’s [suicide], explaining that they are deeply troubled by the lack of a social policy concerning the fight against anti-LGBTI discrimination in Turkey.

The highlights of the text — the Association’s first statement concerning the social rights of LGBTI persons — are as follows:

“The fight against discrimination is our professional responsibility”

“In order that LGBTI individuals may receive all the psychosocial support services they need, we look forward to them seeking assistance from social workers, who serve at most public institutions, particularly the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Health; as well as from the Social Workers Association.

“As people know, the social work profession is a profession based on human rights and social justice. [We are] aware that within this context, we have a responsibility, as a necessity of human rights, to fight against every kind of discrimination that prevents a person from being treated like a human being, particularly with respect to race, ethnic and national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political viewpoint, religious belief, and psychological or physical disability:

“We are open to every kind of collaborative effort”

“We are deeply concerned by our country’s lack of social policy aimed at fighting LGBTI discrimination, which is becoming a more widely discussed issue on account of the suicide of a trans individual, something that we know has not happened for the first time in our country, but in recent days it has become the focus of superficial media attention. We remind everyone that it is a public duty to produce social policy based on human rights for all and we demand law-makers and their executors that they create social policies aimed at preventing anti-LGBTI discrimination and at removing all barriers that prevent LGBTI persons from living in society in accordance with their sexual orientations. So that our demand may be realized, we wish to share with both public institutions and non-governmental organizations that, in addition to the work we have previously supported, we will, as a professional association, carry out professional work, particularly work on a societal level, and training programs aimed at increasing the capacity of members of the profession to provide support to LGBTI individuals; we wish to share that we are open to every kind of collaborative effort.

“We wish to state that despite the fact that, for lack of a policy, the public services that will be given to them are limited, our LGBTI fellow citizens may have recourse to the social workers who serve at most public institutions, in particular the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Health, as well as to our association; and that for the protection and development of their rights, social workers will be able to provide assistance within the framework of their professional responsibility, so that our LGBTI citizens can obtain all the psychosocial support services they need, until a model is developed that aims at preventing LGBTI individuals from being subject to discrimination.”

Anarchist Meydan Newspaper’s Interview with Trans Inmate Esra

Source: “YALINAYAK: Tutsak Travesti Esra ile Röportaj” (“BAREFOOT: An Interview with Transvestite Prisoner Esra”) Meydan, 14 December 2014, http://meydangazetesi.org/gundem/2014/12/yalinayak-tutsak-travesti-esra-ile-roportaj/

In prisons, in every era, pressure, torture and attacks occur, directed against those of a different identity, creed, way of thinking; political prisoners; Kurds; homosexuals; non-Muslims — always. But a way to carry out these attacks would be found, they would be justified, they would be covered up in a thousand and one ways.  After the period of rule by the Justice and Development Party, especially after its “master craftsman” period*, everything began to be done openly, without concern or fear, with people in command, from the lowest rank to the highest, looking out for one another. In an interview given to our newspaper by a transsexual prisoner from a prison whose name we cannot disclose for reasons of personal security, she has described the systematic pressure and torture directed at homosexual and transgender persons in prisons. We share with you, our readers, the interview we conducted.

Meydan: Would you please introduce yourself?

I have been a transsexual for 21 years. I have only one hope: to be able to get my pink ID card. Even that has gotten caught up in procedural barriers under prison conditions.

It is possible to speak of a perception and policy formed by the government and various centers of power in relation to different identities. How does this reflect on you?

In this country, to be homosexual means to lead a very hard life. Sometimes the burden of life seems heavy.  From the moment you choose this life the difficulties begin. First your family ostracizes you, afterwards society does so. Vis-à-vis the government, your rights are taken away from you simply because you are homosexual. Even though it is not official, you are treated as though you are deprived of legal rights. They do not even consider you a human being.

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