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.”


“What Would Be Different If A Gay was Slapped There?”

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Tokat Yiyen İbne Olsaydı Ne Değişecekti?” (“What Would Be Different If A Gay Man Was Slapped?”) Bianet. org, 27 May 2014, http://bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/155961-tokat-yiyen-ibne-olsaydi-ne-degisecekti?bia_source=newsletter

The mashup photo of Taner Kurucan, a Soma resident who was allegedly slapped by PM Erdoğan during his visit, and Yasin Keskin, an LGBTI activist holding a banner “Even if we are gay,” went viral online. Bianet interviewed Yasin Keskin as the mainstream media articles and comments covertly legitimized the violence against him as he was gay.

Yasin Keskin, the real owner of the photo taken at Gay Pride, filed a criminal complaint to the Antalya Prosecutor’s Office in order to determine the distributors of the photo and to prevent further publication of the images. The criminal complaint has been submitted to the İstanbul Prosecutor’s Office.

“The comments under the released photo on social media include threats and hateful phrases.  I’m 29 years old and have spent 29 years under the oppression and violence of society against homosexual people. I have been exposed to violence many times during my struggle and now I am scared of going to Istanbul, even of going out,” LGBTI activist Keskin told Bianet.

“When I went to the courthouse, people said that they saw the photo. People that I don’t know have sent messages on social media. If anyone recognizes me while walking on the street, I could be exposed to a lynching attempt. We are living in a country in which homophobic and transgender murders occur frequently,” he added.




The Suffering of Bülent the Hermaphrodite

Source: Gülden Aydın, “Hermafrodit Bülent’in Çilesi” (“The Suffering of Bülent the Hermaphrodite”), Hürriyet, 23 May 2014, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/26470090.asp

*Translator’s Note: While our project aims to offer verbatim translations of our original sources, certain linguistic differences between Turkish and English present challenges. Because Turkish does not have gender-specific pronouns and if the subject does not identify within the male-female binary, we translate the pronouns as “they.” Please note that words such as “hermaphrodite” and “dual-sexed” are direct translations of the original source, which are used for the term “intersex.”

Bülent Coşkun is a hermaphrodite (dual-sexed), who lives in Cumayeri, Düzce. They cannot go out in public. They are constantly pointed at, made fun of and constantly harassed. As if that is not enough, people want to stone and burn Bülent’s house. Bülent is a victim of hate crimes.

Bülent Coşkun (34) was almost screaming on the phone. They were saying that society was punishing them for being a dual-sexed individual and was asking assistance. When we met in Düzce town center, all eyes were immediately set on Bülent who has elements of both man and woman in their body and clothes. Cars in traffic were stopping; people were pointing, laughing and looking at the “freak.” Where Bülent was verging on tears, we were almost choking. It was impossible to sit in a café and conduct the interview there; we had to go to their cottage.


Bülent comes from a family of farmers. Their parents are cousins. They were born dual-sexed following the birth of their two elder sisters. Their father was determined to make Bülent into a man, so they made Bülent go through six separate and painful surgeries in which Bülent’s vagina was sealed and their urinary tract connected to the penis. However, the surgeries were not successful. They ran away after the same doctor told them that 8 more surgeries had to be performed. Bülent’s life was a living hell due to the botched surgeries performed on them until 2012. Although, they could not urinate for 15 hours, Bülent was supposedly a man.




Are you the one booing? First he was slapped by the PM, then they said he was GAY

Source: Haluk Temel, “Are you the one booing? First he was slapped, then they said he was GAY”, (“Sen misin yuh çeken: Hem tokadı yedi hem de GAY oldu”), Radikal Blog, 18 May 2014, http://blog.radikal.com.tr/Sayfa/sen-misin-yuh-ceken-hem-tokadi-yedi-hem-de-gay-oldu-60183

Two days ago in my blog I wrote that the real catastrophe would involve what we would go through after the blast. I still think so.

Yes, it is true that a massive catastrophe took place under that mine [Soma].

But what about the things that happened above the mine? Were those normal? Kicks, slaps, declarations such as “do not push your politics through the dead”, which were only followed by more politics.

Let us accept the fact that what we have witnessed in the past four days have been as saddening as what happened inside the mine, in terms of social significance. How sad is it that we are split even during a moment of disaster!

All of us are, to some extent, able to vocalize our thoughts and feelings in relation to this accident and the more than 300 hundred people who died. But what about the ugliness that ensued? Are we fully capable of expressing our thoughts on those? No. Even as you try to collect the sentences you are about to form, you experience strain in the creases of your brain. You are unable to form sentences. Because it is harder to talk about a humanity that is dead – or on the verge of dying – than it is to talk about dead bodies!

You may find it easier to comprehend what I am saying when I explain below the last deeds of those who accused us of “involving politics in the matter” when we criticized the prime minister’s slap and his adviser’s kicks.

That group’s most recent accomplishment was to declare that the citizen slapped by the prime minister is “GAY.” They came up with fake photos and spread this news online. One of the people involved in this disgusting scheme is not just a layperson. He is the CEO of ANAR, the main social research company that serves the AK Party, İbrahim Uslu. The infamous puppets of AK Party set out to denigrate the young man who was slapped by the prime minister. For this, they found an image on Google, made a sloppy modification to it and made him look like he was “gay.” The puppets engaged in this deceit in order to motivate supporters of the AK Party. The CEO of ANAR, İbrahim Uslu, offered his support by sharing the photo online. When Uslu saw the fake photo, he added a flashy caption that read, “See who the person is who claims that the prime minister slapped him? Pay attention to the logo on the microphone. They are now in a position to need these people’s help” and he shared the photo on Twitter. He thought he was pleasing the crowds as he did this. Perhaps he wanted to appear to be the man who provided a sneak peak backstage. Who knows?


Tweet by ANAR Research CEO Ibrahim Uslu: “Look who the man who claimed that the Prime Minister slapped him? Look at the logo on the microphone! [referring to TV channel Kanal D owned by Aydın Doğan] They are now in need of these people’s help.”  

Headline reads: “The man who claims that the Prime Minister punched him: Both Taksim and Soma?”

The banner on the left reads: “Even if we are gay,” a widespread slogan for Turkey’s LGBTI community. 


Gay Police Trial Begins

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Eşcinsel Polis Davası Başladı” (“Gay Police Trial Begins,”) Bianet.org, 8 May 2014, http://bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/155528-escinsel-polis-davasi-basladi

The trial of police officer Osman, who was fired from the police force for being gay, has started. Observers from Human Rights Watch, SPoD LGBTI and Lambdaistanbul are attending the trial.

The trial of police officer Osman, who was fired from the force for being gay, started today.

After working as a police officer for eight years, Osman was fired from the force on the grounds of “committing a disgraceful crime” following an investigation process which took place after a revealing e-mail sent to the law enforcement agency exposed his sexual orientation. Osman talked about what he lived through on Bianet.

The trial of stay of execution against Osman’s dismissal from the profession took place today. Observers from Human Rights Watch, SPoD, LGBTI and Lambdaistanbul are attending the trial.

The court confirmed that the sentence would be announced in a month’s time, after the defense argument is raised.

Speaking to Bianet, Osman stated:

“The court will decide in a month. If the ruling is positive, I will return to my profession; if a negative sentence is handed down, I will apply to the State Council and continue fighting.”

“I don’t think my sexual orientation hinders me from doing my job. I wouldn’t mix my private life and my work anyway. I will be a policeman.”

Trans Inmate Funda’s Letter on Prisons in Turkey

Source: LGBT Hapiste,Trans Mahpus Funda’nin Türkiye Hapishanelerini Anlattığı Mektubu (Trans Inmate Funda’s Letter on Prisons in Turkey), LGBT Hapiste, May 6, 2014, http://lgbthapiste.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/trans-mahpus-fundanin-turkiye-hapishanelerini-anlattigi-mektubu/

Funda, a trans prisoner incarcerated for the past ten years, describes her experiences in various prisons. Corresponding with the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation, Funda testifies about the early years of her sentence and says that she will continue her story in her letters to come.

Some of the abusive practices described in Funda’s letter are:

  • Forced stripping and genitalia searches when entering the prison.
  • Forced haircuts.
  • Not being allowed to wear women’s clothing.

  • Being forced to wear men’s clothing.

  • Being kept in a solitary cell, without a shower or warm water.

Reading about these practices from Funda’s point of view will help with understanding how trans inmates are made to suffer.

Note: Funda ends her letter by saying that their situation is quite difficult and they need any help they can get. Those who want to send letters and/or help to trans prisoners can call 0542 336 75 67 for more information.


Beyoğlu Chief of Police: Wait and See What Else I Will Shut Down

Source: “Beyoğlu Emniyet Müdürü: Dur daha nereleri kapatacağım” (“Beyoğlu Chief of Police: Wait and See What Else I Will Shut Down”) Muhalif Gazete, 6 May 2014,  http://www.muhalifgazete.com/haber/99014/beyoglu-emniyet-muduru-daha-dur-nereleri-kapatacagim.html

Daracık Street in the Beyoğlu District of Istanbul, where a trans individual was murdered two weeks ago, is once again in the spotlight; this time due to claims of forcible “shut-downs.”

Istanbul Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite Transsexual Solidarity Association (Istanbul LGBTT) has claimed that building doors in the street where trans individuals were staying have been welded shut. Beyoğlu District Chief of Police, Ünal Altıner, has denied the claim; whereas Director of Municipal Police, Ahmet Öztürk, disclosed that the Beyoğlu Police already had a request for unoccupied buildings to be closed down and that they were acting on that request.

Murder on Daracık Street

On the night of April 20th, gunshots were heard on Daracık Street. Çağla Joker and her friend, Nalan, were shot by the 17-year-old H.T.; Çağla was killed and Nalan was badly wounded. The murder suspect, H.T., was soon caught and arrested. The building, in which the murder was committed, was sealed shut.

Joint Operation Two Weeks Later

Approximately two weeks later, the Beyoğlu Police and Municipal Police Departments started to act on abandoned and rundown buildings located on Daracık Street. According to Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet’s reporter, Kazım Ataer, property owners’ demands and the murder were the catalyst for the shutdowns.

Beyoğlu Chief of Police: “The Property Owner Got the Welding Done”

Beyoğlu Chief of Police, Altıner, made the following statement on the subject: “I am only tidying up the area.” Altıner, who says that they have only cleared and shut down three buildings so far, went on: “If we had not gone ahead and clamped down on the subject, those buildings would crumble. We cleared all of them. The property owners called their lawyers. They declared that they [the people staying there] did not have any lease or tenancy agreements. We also shut down and sealed a coffee-house in the same place. I am only tidying up the area. I am not shutting down a workplace or residence of a person illegally. And it was the property owner who got the welding done on the doors.”


Women’s Organization at Kocaeli University: “Our booth is beautiful, why don’t you come?”

Source: Gökçe Şengönül, “Bizim çardak çok güzel, gelsene (Our booth is beautiful, why don’t you come?),” Evrensel, 03 May 2014, http://www.evrensel.net/haber/83565/bizim-cardak-cok-guzel-gelsene.html#.U2uPh2fQfIV

We have very good news for you. We turned our two-year-old group Kocaeli University Bread and Roses into a workshop.  In other words, we formed the Kocaeli University Bread and Roses Women Studies Workshop! This process began two years ago with conversations on women’s problems among a group of university women. We discovered each other and started small meetings. We got to know each other. With breakfasts, conversations, and March 8 Women’s Day gatherings, we strengthened our bonds of sisterhood in the course of our activities about problems stemming from being a woman, our common denominator. But we realized we wanted to move things forward, towards doing something more concrete, and took a step together. This was a big step, because this was a step that gave each of us a responsibility. Our sensitivity enabled us to more clearly see a problem that we know has existed for centuries and required us not to be silent in the face of it.  But this increased our desire to not only break our silence after each incident, but to also to produce something concrete to prevent the incident from happening. Our desire to produce something concrete was the basis for our workshop.


The fact that there was no women’s studies workshop at our university! In other words, there were no groups or work platforms where we could talk about our problems that have to do with “simply being a woman,” where we could produce solutions, articulate our demands. We know that we need to talk to more women if we want our voice to be stronger. Because we have shared problems. We do not have to endure violence or die in order to see the existence of such problems. It is impossible not to see patriarchy present at home, on the street, on campus, on the bus, in the workplace. Once you see this, to deny the existence of women’s problems, to be indifferent to them so long as they do not affect you directly, only reinforces the patriarchal system. It is because of this that we wanted to reach our  female university friends. We wanted a workshop where we could call on all of the women at the university regardless of their political views or identities.

Note: If you read this and would like to reach us, you can find us at the booth which we decorated with our own hands on the way to the Communications Dining Hall every Tuesday at 4:00 PM.


We wanted to take up the call to university women at the conference “Young Women are Meeting” held recently with the participation of women friends from ODTU (Middle East Technical University) and Hacettepe University. The fact that after we took this step one of our female friends was attacked at the Faculty of Engineering at our university by her ex boyfriend with a gun and a meat cleaver was a sign that we were in fact late in taking such a step.  In his statement afterwards, the University president said “the young man has it tough” almost offering consolation to the attacker. But just as we were actively keeping watch of the court case for the 14 year old Ö.Y., who was sexually abused, we will do the same for this case.  There are a lot of things we want to do, good things: to gain official recognition at the university, to work to set up a committee to monitor assaults and violence, to collaborate with our LGBTI friends, to organize talks, forums with the support of academic scholars, to start a fanzine at our school. Because we know and believe that the world becomes a more beautiful place with the labor of women.


Women from the workshop have a message for you:

Neslihan Kalay: Challenging the system that defines honor through women as well as those who want to imprison women within the walls of the home, we are women gathered here to be the voice of our sisters who are oppressed, exploited, subject to male violence, slaughtered on the streets under the name of love murders, and to call together for women’s solidarity.

Esin Özge Çiçek: Is woman’s honor between her legs? We are here to destroy this notion. Because a woman is not a sexual object. Is it the blood that oozes from between the legs that makes one honorable or is it the soul that makes the body honorable? Therefore we will not be anybody’s honor.

Eda Akbulut: We want to see LGBT individuals among us as well. Especially trans women. We all know how much they are excluded from this society and how difficult their lives are. We must therefore explore the theme “one is not born a woman, but becomes a woman” in our workshop.

Avşa’s Letter: Transsexuals and Turkish Prisons

Zafer Kıraç and Mustafa Eren, “Avşa’nın Mektubu, Translar ve Türkiye Hapishaneleri” (“Avşa’s Letter: Transsexuals and Turkish Prisons”) LGBT Hapiste, 4 May 2014, http://lgbthapiste.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/avsanin-mektubu-translar-ve-turkiye-hapishaneleri/

“Homosexuals are denied work in prison workshops; they are denied visits to the clinic; as well opportunities to exercise, go to the library, seek religious instruction, access theater, concerts or classes.Homosexuals are denied the right to breathe…”

“It is free to assault, pressure, physically or psychologically pressure, sexually assault, harass, threaten or insult homosexuals.” (Avşa)

Avşa, the trans inmate, has been exposed to abuses, ill treatments, harassments and rapes in prisons for years. She was brave to report these violations of rights to authorities by criminal complaints many times, but this only increased threats and attacks against her. Avşa wrote a letter to our organization (Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation – CISST) about what she has been through.

Avşa states that she has been incarcerated since 2006. She talks about the time in the Çorum L-type Closed Prison, where she went through harassment as well as oppression and psychological pressure. At first she filed a complaint about these wrongful acts but had to retract it after she was “threatened and harassed” by the prison administration. This was followed by the addition of another 4.5 years to her sentence due to “insulting an officer.”

She was then transferred to the Giresun E-type Closed Prison. As attacks against her continued, she was also subjected to “aggravated sexual assault” by a correctional officer. In other words, she was raped. She also brought this incident to trial and the Giresun Criminal Court sentenced the correctional officer, who had sexually assaulted Avşa, to 10 years and 6 months of imprisonment.

Avşa’s prison life became even more unbearable after her rapist correctional officer got  imprisoned by the court. She concludes:

“After this ugly and unpleasant incident became known in other prisons across the Black Sea Region, other officers started to harass and threaten me, I officially petitioned our Ministry of Justice. Due to security concerns I was relocated to prisons in other cities; first in Tokat, then Niğde, Gümüşhane and Bafra.”


“Faggots, do not organize in Malatya or else it will be bad!”

Yıldız Tar, “İbneler, Malatya’da Örgütlenmeyin Kötü Olur” (“Faggots, do not organize in Malatya or else it will be bad!”), KaosGL.org, 2 May 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16484

On April 29, in Malatya, “unidentified individuals” assaulted and threatened a gay youth: Do not organize in Malatya or else the result will be bad!”

Attacks continue against  LGBTI people’s (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) struggles for freedom, equality and existence.

A member of the Malatya Youth Initiative Against Homophobia and Transphobia was assaulted by “unidentified individuals” on April 29th in Malatya. The assailants seized the gay youth’s phone and threatened them: “Do not organize in Malatya, if you go further, we are not responsible for what happens.”

“Do not organize in Malatya; we are not responsible for what happens!”

Emir Çoban, the threatened person’s roommate and member of the Malatya Youth Initiative Against Homophobia and Transphobia, told kaosGL.org what happened:

“My roommate left work to go home on April 29th. On his way home, at around 10:00 pm, they blocked his way. They held his arms; they asked for his phone and money. My roommate gave it to them. They then threatened my roommate. They said, “Do not organize in Malatya; if you go further, we will not be responsible for what happens.”


On The Nature of Trans Killings

Source: Dilara Çalışkan, “Trans Cinayetlerinin Niteliği Üzerine” (“On The Nature of Trans Killings”), Birgün, 27 April 2014, http://birgun.net/haber/trans-cinayetlerinin-niteligi-uzerine-13544.html

It should be remembered that those who are responsible for the hate murders of trans people are also responsible for the rights violations committed against women, children, and all LGBTI individuals. They are responsible for the rights violations of any individual who does not conform to the idealized norm of the “Turkish citizen.”

In the last 8 years, 36 news items were published that began with the heading “We are shaken with yet another hate murder!” In the last one year, the number of articles beginning with the heading “We are shaken with yet another woman killing” was 214. These are only the ones we know about, the ones that were reported and officially recorded. We lost count of how many hate crimes are being committed, each one reminding us of the other, each inflicting deep cuts in our hearts, each prompting us to ask “is the next one going to be me?”

And every time, we get back up and say, again and again, that “It’s Enough!”, “This ought to be the last one!”, that we know the killers well. And it is very annoying that we can fully understand who Çağla’s killer is and where he is coming from, who, calmly, comes down the ladders of the building and ties his shoelaces, as shown in surveillance cameras.

It seems that watching how easy it is to end a life reminds us, very painfully, to what extent trans killings and woman killings are political.


“Instead of a Separate Prison, Conditions in Current Ones Should Be Improved”

Source: “LGBTİ’lere Ayrı Cezaevi Yerine Koşulları İyileştirsinler” (“Instead of a Separate Prison, Conditions in Current Ones Should Be Improved”) Kaosgl.com, 20 April 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16376

The debate for “separate prisons” for LGBTI inmates continues. “Isolation is already a part of prison life. Their priority should be preventing harassment of inmates by correctional officers”, “Instead of a separate prison, conditions in existing ones should be improved.”

The public discussion on the project to build separate prisons for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) individuals still continues in the press.  A reporter from the daily “Milliyet”, Aydil Durgun, asked the organizations Kaos GL, Hêvî LGBTİ, T-Der and SPoD LGBT for their thoughts on the debate started by the Ministry of Justice.

“Isolation is already a part of prison life”

Hayriye KARA, Attorney at Law (Kaos GL): “In Turkish Prisons, LGBTI individuals are already segregated due to their sexual orientations and sexual identities. They are, in a way, re-imprisoned in the prison population. Especially trans inmates are segregated citing “security” concerns. They are isolated, shunned and deprived of social activities. They are also kept from working; thus, left without income for personal items during their sentence.  Besides, Turkey has already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for its present treatment of LGBTI inmates.”

“There is no mention of rights violations committed by correctional officers.”

“Planning a separate prison project for LGBTI inmates before even considering improving the existing conditions in prisons is only a step to further isolate LGBTI individuals from society. Instead of combating social prejudices and striving for the human rights of LGBTI individuals, the government plans to build a separate prison not unlike a concentration camp citing ‘the security of LGBTI people.’

There is no mention of rights violations by correctional officers or ways to fight these occurrences in the project description. This proves their sincerity on the so-called ‘security’ aspect. A separate LGBTI prison is only another way to isolate, brand, expose and discriminate. This application is brazenly in violation of human rights as well as local and international laws. It is the institutionalization of the discrimination against LGBTI individuals.”


Trans Prisoner on Hunger Strike: “I realized I was not alone, Thank You!”

Kaos GL, “Açlık Grevindeki Trans Mahpus: Yalnız Olmadığımın Farkına Vardım, Teşekkürler!“ (“Trans Prisoner on Hunger Strike: “I realized I was not alone, Thank You!””) Kaosgl.com, 24 April 2014, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=16407

Avşa, the trans convict who went on hunger strike after repeated violations of her rights, ended her strike on April 13th when she was promised that her demands would be heard. Attorney Banu Güveren, who met her on Monday, April 21st, said she was currently under medical treatment.

Avşa, whose hunger strike we were made aware of by her letter to us on April 10th, told Attorney Banu Güveren that she had not imagined her voice being heard as swiftly as it did.

“I Realized I was not Alone”

Avşa said that she was very moved by all the help and had realized that she was not alone. She expressed her gratitude to everyone who had helped in getting her voice heard. She also thanked the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP Halil Aksoy, who had submitted an official query to the Ministry of Justice on Avşa’s situation.

Avşa and other inmates had started their hunger strike after repeatedly being subjected to insults, threats, sexual harassment, rape and violence as well as other violations of their rights, such as refusing the inmates requests to be taken to the infirmary or hospital and refusing to submit inmates’ petitions.

After some of these events various LGBTI inmates, including Avşa, attempted suicide.

Avşa, who had recently been transferred to Kocaeli 2 T-type Prison, ended her hunger strike only after the prosecutor in charge of Kandıra Prison offered to listen to her demands and help her. Avşa is currently in Kocaeli Prison, staying in a ward reserved for LGBTI inmates and says she has not encountered any problems since her arrival.


The Federation does not Recognize Gay Referee!

Source: “Federasyon Gey Hakemi Tanımıyor!” (“The Federation does not Recognize Gay Referee!), Kaos GL, 22 April 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16400

The Turkish Football Federation claimed that Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, who was banned from refereeing because he is gay, has not conducted any matches between the years of 2000 and 2008. Lawyer Söyle said, “This is a mockery of us and the court as well.”

The 12th hearing of Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ’s court case against the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) was held today. Dinçdağ had sued the TFF because he was banned from refereeing due to being homosexual.

With the written report they sent to the court, TFF claimed that Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ had not served as a referee in any matches between the seasons of 2000-2001 and 2007-2008.

Lawyer Fırat Söyle spoke to bianet where he stated the following: “It is impossible for us to accept this claim. In the duration of four years when this case has been in court, the situation has not been denied. In the documents that the TFF presented to the court, they only provide information about matches after 2008 when Dinçdağ was exempted from military. They ignore the period before this entirely. This is a mockery of us, the court and of the TFF itself as an institution. We cannot take this claim seriously.”

He added: “This only elongates the court case. The case is probably going to be delayed further. Such a long ruling process is against the 6th item of the European Convention on Human Rights on fair hearing as well.”

Currently, the court is in the process of waiting for a document from the Trabzon Provincial Referees’ Council regarding the matches where Dinçdağ refereed.

The amount of indemnity that Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ will receive is going to be based on the number of matches he conducted.

The next hearing will take place on 15 June 2014, at 11:00 AM.

T1-D6, 93 Days in the “Transvestite Ward”

Source: T1-D6, “Travesti Koğuşu”nda 93 Gün (T1-D6, 93 Days in the “Transvestite Ward”). 2014. Kaos GL. 19 April 2014. http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16372

I have only been in jail once in my life and I stayed in one of those wards for three months. Mine was in Metris; Ward T1-D6. In other words: The Transvestite Ward. And I spent exactly 93 days with other transvestites and a few homosexual men. There were eight of us  in total.

Yiğit Karaahmet, a columnist for the daily newspaper Taraf, featured Trans convict Avşa’s letter in his column. Karaahmet, who states that the most basic problem that LGBTIs face in prisons is isolation, shared his experiences in the prison he stayed.

Here is Karaahmet’s article in full:

Trans convict Avşa’s letter to Kaos GL concludes as follows “…I went to prison before I could blossom.” Avşa is currently on hunger strike due to countless rights violations, harassment and excommunication because of her sexual orientation. After Avşa’s rebellion, Turkey has started to talk about the conditions of LGBTs in prison, which they hadn’t seen and did not want to see, in a quiet voice.

The Transvestite Wards of my beautiful homeland.

I have only been in jail once in my life and I stayed in one of those wards for three months.. Mine was in Metris; Ward T1-D6. In other words: The Transvestite Ward. And I spent exactly 93 days with other transvestites and a few homosexual men. There were eight of us in total.

The most basic problem all LGBTs come across in prison is isolation. During the time that I stayed there, neither seeing people other than these eight, nor sharing the same environment with others was possible.

Lists of weekly use of the gym were hung up.… While all the other wards were holding matches and arranging tournaments, we were doing sports by ourselves as well. 8-people volleyball matches, 8 people work-outs… After a while, we would get bored of holding a match and walk around the field arm-in-arm gossiping about the coach.

Prisons hold courses for the prisoners. Our ward was not allowed to participate in them either. I organized the whole ward to participate in a chess tournament. Of course, just for us. Our girls’ interest for chess did not last long. After the second week when we were reduced by wastage, it blew up in our faces too. The ones who stay in that ward could also not participate in work such as cleaning, cooking and library duty.

People who stay in the transvestite ward stay in a separate prison within a prison. Staying in a transvestite ward is like living in a micro-Turkey. Since they cannot provide your security, taking away your basic rights and freedoms is the easiest way.

This situation also has an economic dimension. Most of LGBT convicts do not speak to their families, nor do they have someone to get financial aid; some had to support themselves as sex workers. There are some convicts who cannot pay their share of the electricity bill of 50 kuruş (about 20 US cents) and those same people have to be in for yet another five years.

What is that? What kind of life routine and justice mentality is that?

It is said that separate prisons will be built for homosexual convicts. There are some reasonable points here. However, where will this prison be? For instance if a convict who was caught in Istanbul [and has all their friends and the people who can support them there] is put in a special prison in Mardin just for being LGBT, who will assist them and how will they be visited?

I think the right thing is that those prisoners should be provided with the environment they are entitled to in the location that they are imprisoned. These people are already imprisoned in a dark well outside of  prison; they should be provided with proper social and economic rights in prison. What is the state for? What is it good for? Its incompetence in providing them with proper security is no reason to ask them to give up their rights.

What will happen to Avşa? Do you think it is easy to be a transvestite on hunger strike in prison all by yourself? Is it considered normal that she was harassed and insulted all the way as she was exiled from Giresun to Bafra, from Tokat to Niğde? Is it considered normal that she went from 82 kilos (180 pounds)to 62 kilos (136 pounds) during her struggle?

Avşa; my beautiful, bold, courageous, intelligent friend… You are so gorgeous. You think you were put into prison before you could blossom, but I promise that you will also blossom one day. Just like the plums blossoming these spring days, one day you will flourish too; you will wander around the streets of the city as you flick your hair. Never lose your hope. It is this state and this conception of morality, this darkness, that did not let you flourish. Just to spite them, please never give up, wait for the spring.

Let your resistance be our guide and your rebellion our hope.