Hate speech in Turkey

Yeni Akit: Immoral march at METU! Their minds are not pursuing knowledge, but faggotry

Yeni Akit is a conservative daily newspaper that engages in hate speech against LGBTI people and other groups. This is a verbatim translation. 

Source: Yeni Akit, “ODTÜ’de ahlaksız yürüyüş! Akılları bilime değil ‘ib..eliğe’ çalışıyor,” 15 May 2017,http://m.yeniakit.com.tr/haber/odtude-ahlaksiz-yuruyus-akillari-bilime-degil-ibelige-calisiyor-327388.html

A group of homosexual, perverted students marched in heresy for “pride” at METU [Middle East Technical University], marking the 7th METU Pride March. This immoral march led to the comment, “their minds are not pursuing knowledge, but faggotry.”

The LGBT perverts signed off on yet another scandal, as they ignore the spiritual values of the Muslim Turkish nation and worked to normalize such immorality in Turkey. Homosexual perverts held the immoral pride march at METU, known as the address for scandals and as a safe haven for terrorist organizations. During the march, homosexual perverts again displayed immorally and were again chanting slogans. The march which began on the campus finished in the stadium.

The fact that METU fosters this kind of terror and immorality drew out the criticism “their minds are not pursuing knowledge, but faggotry.” Another question that has been raised, is when will the authorities stop this immorality that violates the national and spiritual values of the Muslim Turkish nation.

Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Committee Files Criminal Complaint Against Hate Speech Groups and Applies to Overturn Governor’s Ban on Pride March

Dear Members of the Press,

On June 20, at Çağlayan Courthouse at 11:00, we filed a criminal complaint against groups such as Muslim Anatolian Youth, Alperen Hearths Foundation, Tembihname, Özgür-Der, and the Greater Union Party (BBP) for their hate speech and threatening statements that targeted us. Since we do not have a legal personality as the Pride Week Committee, we filed the complaint as individual members of the committee and the Lambdaistanbul Association.

Lawyer and activist Levent Pişkin spoke on behalf of the Pride Week Committee and stated:

“We think that prosecutors, especially press prosecutors, should start an investigation on the matter on its own initiative as there is more than one type of crime. The declarations include offenses such as targeting LGBTI+s, instigating crime, discrimination, instigating the public to rage and animosity, insult and obstruction of democratic rights. The governorate’s ban against the march, using these threats as an excuse, is not only against European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence and international conventions but also national laws and the the constitution. We will file the criminal complaint and follow up. We will continue our struggle and stand up for our rights against those who target the LGBTI+s, deem them deserving of death and instigate hate.

Against the decision of the governorate, we will open a lawsuit today (June 20) at the Administrative Court with an urgent request demanding a stay in the execution of the decision of banning next week’s march. We hope that there will be a verdict to stop the execution without further ado. There are similar cases in ECtHR cases regarding Georgia and Russia. There were also threats by certain faith groups against the LGBTI+, governorate bans against marches in these cases, and police attacks against LGBTI+s, which we have also attached these cases on our complaint.”

Anyone who wishes to can sign the complaint and submit it to the prosecutor’s offices.

Last week, Istanbul LGBTI Association and Human Rights Association filed another criminal complaint against these groups.

You can find the criminal complaint below.

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Kaos GL and Pink Life’s Criminal Complaint Against Posters and Online Statements Calling for Massacring LGBTs

Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association and Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association is filing a criminal complaint with the Information Technology Bureau of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the group Young Islamic Defense’s statement issued on their website and the posters posted throughout Ankara streets which quote a hadith by the prophet Muhammad calling for the massacre of LGBT individuals. Attorneys Hayriye Kaya, Yasemin Öz, and Oya Aydın are accusing Global Analysis (Küresel Analiz), the content provider for the website, for violating constitutional rights and relevant legislation in the Turkish Penal Code regarding inciting hatred and provocation to crime. Below are key points underlined in the complaint:

EVENTS:

  • The LGBTIs have been characterized as “THE PEOPLE LIVING THE SUMMIT OF IMMORALITY” and were made the target of homophobic and transphobic hate and violence in the article entitled “Remains of the Tribe of Lot” published in the website www.gencislamimudafaa.com on 6 July 2015.

In the relevant article it was stated that:

The march of the organization entitled ‘LGBT’, that we are ashamed even to write the long form thereof, has once again proven us that the remains of the Tribe of Lot are still present in this day and age. These people living the summit of immorality also made sure to ridicule the names of the holy Three Months, namely ‘Rajab, Sha’bān and Ramadan’. We could not have remained indifferent, in the God’s righteous path, to this deprived march in the void cause. We showed effort both to raise awareness of our society and to do a small portion of our part. By putting up our posters on this matter to some areas, we shared the hadith ‘If you see the one carrying out the Tribe of Lot’s dirty work, kill the doer and the done!’ mentioned in Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood, with our society in order to show that the Muslims must not stay silent about this and that Islam strictly forbids this matter. Our wish is that we learn the conduct Islam requests from us, in the light of the Quran and Sunnah, instead of learning it from the preachers who cannot scream the truth on televisions.”

Below the statement, there were photographs of the posters (Annex-1) stating “If you see the one carrying out the Tribe of Lot’s dirty work, kill the the doer and the done” that were put up in various areas.

STATEMENTS:

There is an explicit call for the murder of LGBT individuals justified by religious references in the statement on the website  and the posters (as shown in the photographs below the statement).

  • Article 214 of the Turkish Penal Code entitled “Provoking Commission of Offense” states:

(1) The person who provokes a crime shall be punished by imprisonment for six months to five years.

(2) The person who provokes a section of society to arm itself and kill another section of society shall be punished by imprisonment for 15 to 24 years.

(3) In the event of said crimes being committed, the person who provokes the crime shall be punished as the person who enables the crime.

As explained above and as can be seen in the internet print outs attached to our petition, through this statement and posters, a call is issued to Muslims not to be spectators to “immorality” but to kill LGBT people.

  • The right to life is a basic human right. The right to life and the material and spiritual integrity of a person is guaranteed in international covenants and the Constitution. Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights also emphasizes the right to life as one of the most fundamental provisions.

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Hate speech against LGBTI by the Milli Irade Platformu

Hate speech against LGBTI by the Milli Irade Platformu, a pro-government platform of civil society organizations: “Our morality is our value. The people does not forgive those who pushes forward homosexual perversion onto the people as if it were a legitimate act. To legitimize the publicization of sin is an assassination against the values of this people. This initiative will fail yet again with The People’s Will.” (Scroll down for a list of organizations allegedly supporting this statement.)

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T24 Correspondent Demishevich Pointed to as a Target

T24’s correspondent Michelle Demishevich was pointed to as a target by a magazine called “Furkan News.”

Source: Elif Akgül, “T24 Muhabiri Hedef Gösteriliyor” (“T24 Correspondent Pointed to as a Target”), Bianet, 3 June 2015, http://bianet.org/kadin/medya/165011-t24-muhabiri-hedef-gosteriliyor

In the news article titled “Sümeyye Erdoğan provoked by German descendent Transsexual,” Demishevich’s following of a press release as a journalist has been presented with the words “During the press statement following Erdoğan’s meeting, plainclothes police officers apprehended Michelle Demishevich, a transsexual of German descent, who was following her.”

The news article, which did not provide an account of the police violence [during the incident], presented Demishevich’s journalism activities as crime and pointed out her previous workplace IMC TV and her current employer T24 as targets.

Demishevich told Bianet that she will be filing a criminal complaint.

What happened?

Demishevich was subjected to violence by plainclothes police officers while she was following the press release by President Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan in front of the Belgian Consulate. While Demishevich was dragged away by her hair, other journalists and correspondents who were present during the incident ridiculed her.

Hate Speech by Furkan Magazine: “HDP-PKK’s faggot correspondent of German descent was caught in attempted provocation”

Transsexual correspondent, who is working for the PKK’s media branch also known as IMC TV and for the sore Kemalists’ website T24, was apprehended by police while following Sümeyye Erdoğan.

Source: Furkan Magazine, “Sümeyye Erdoğan’a Alman Asıllı Transeksüel Provokasyonu” (“Sümeyye Erdoğan provoked by Transsexual of German Descent”), 1 June 2015, http://www.furkanhaber.com/sumeyye-erdogana-provokasyon/

AK Party[1]’s Women’s Branch issued a press release in front of the Belgian Consulate to support Mahinur Özdemir, who was expelled from her party for not supporting the claims about the Armenian genocide. After the statement, Sümeyye Erdoğan met with the Belgian Consul-General. During the press statement following Erdoğan’s meeting, plainclothes police officers apprehended Michelle Demishevich, a transsexual of German descent, who was following her. Police officers forcefully removed the German descendent person called Michelle while she resisted the police.

It was uncovered that the suspect was a German citizen who was living in Turkey and claiming to be a speaker at HDP-PKK’s [2] media branch IMC TV and T24, a website frequented by ex-government coup supporters of February 28th.


[1] “AK Parti,” lit. WHITE or CLEAN Party, is often used as the abbreviation for “AKP,” Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party, by Party officials and followers.

[2] HDP is the Peoples’ Democratic Party which takes its roots and support from Turkey’s Kurds. The party’s strong social democratic message also includes the LGBTI. PKK is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which has led an armed struggle against the Turkish state between 1984-2013 under the leadership of Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned on an island-prison in Turkey since 1999. The war has claimed more than 30,000 lives and PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and NATO.  Critics of the HDP often claim the HDP to be an extension of the PKK.

Translator’s note: The above example of hate speech has been translated for educational and advocacy purposes.

Turkey’s Former Minister of Interior: ‘Gay marriage is the destruction of humanity’

The former Minister of Interior and current candidate for parliament running with the AKP [Turkey’s ruling party] from Erzurum, opposed gay marriage on TGRT TV News program and said that “the tribe of Lot” was destroyed because of this.

Source: “Efkan Ala da hedef gösterme peşinde: Eşcinsel evlilik insanlığın helakıdır” (“Efkan Ala is also intent on pointing people out as targets: ‘Gay marriage is the destruction of humanity’”), Birgün, 2 June 2015, http://www.birgun.net/haber-detay/efkan-ala-da-hedef-gosterme-pesinde-escinsel-evlilik-insanligin-helakidir-82104.html

The former Minister of Interior and current candidate for parliament running with the AKP [Turkey’s ruling party] from Erzurum, opposed gay marriage on TGRT TV News program and said that “the tribe of Lot” was destroyed because of this.

Pointing Barış Sulu, the HDP’s Eskişehir LGBTI MP candidate, as a target[1], he said:

“For God’s sake, look at these candidates that the HDP put forth. I can’t even bring myself to say it. They have put forth candidates that our citizen [sic] cannot accept.”

Efkan Ala continued:

“Our Kurdish brothers are religious people. For God’s sake, look at these candidates that the HDP put forth. I can’t even bring myself to say it. They have put forth candidates that our citizen [sic] cannot accept. I mean let me say this, they have put forth a transvestite candidate. They put forth homosexuals as candidates. In its election declaration, the HDP says that these [sic] will be afforded all sorts of rights, of the right of a man to marry and be with a man and of the right of a woman to marry and be with a woman. We are saying that we are against such things on topics that our morality our tradition rejects. What is this, a man marrying a man, a woman marrying a woman. The tribe of Lot was destroyed because of this[1]. That is, this is the destruction of humanity.”


[1] Turkey has a history of political violence, hate crimes, and political assassinations that followed a governmental authority figure and/or mainstream media singling out a person or a group out as rightfully injurable with impunity. -Trans.