Hate speech

Far-right Alperen Group Says It will Stop Pride No Matter What

The Alperen Hearths are a far-right ultranationalist and Islamist youth group linked to the nationalist Great Union Party (BBP). On Wednesday, the Alperens made a press statement on Trans and LGBTI Pride Marches and said “We will never, ever allow their immorality”. The full translation of their press statement is below.  

Source: http://m.haberler.com/alperen-ocaklari-baskani-mican-lgbt-onur-8528393-haberi/

As you know, the nature of the marches LGBT are planning to hold in Taksim on 19 and 26 June are contradictory to our nation’s national and moral structure and traditions. We will never, ever allow such Immorality, like this march that is called “honor” but really it is immoral, that touch the nation’s nerves, to be normalized or encouraged. 

We warn those who use the names Recep, Şaban, and Ramadan, the months we accept as holy, and try to be funny: they should not shed their clothes to shamelessness with saying things about our nation’s sensitivities with such fantasies. I’ll remind you this quote from Ziya Pasha for those who make fun of our moral values and surpass boundaries: “Those who do not settle down with advice should be scolded, those who do not settle down with scolding and advice should be beaten”.

Viewing the organization of this march as tolerance should not lead to social corruption and moral collapse with the creation of new genders using alternatives letters for our daughters and sons. This is not a reaction to anyone’s personal life or personal crimes. Ordering good is to abolish the bad.

State officials who allow this immorality and daring, who give way, who close their eyes and ears, we invite you to serve to end this immorality. Otherwise, we Alperens, the deep nation’s representatives, will not allow these immoral people’s fantasies in these lands left to us by our ancestors who paid a heavy price. Otherwise, our response will be very clear and harsh. We are announcing this to the public. And we are calling on all our brothers and sisters in religion. We will meet in Taksim Square on Sunday 16 June [sic] at 15:00 and Sunday 26 June at 15:00. We will never, ever allow their immorality.

They keep doing the same thing on this holy month and make fun of us by completely discounting our values. With God’s permission, we will not allow this. We invite you to Taksim Square to say “stop” to this immorality together. We will directly stop the march. We will face up to anything. There is nothing to do here. We will somehow not allow them to march. They can meet somewhere and do whatever they want but on this holy month of Ramadan, on this holy day, we absolutely do not want them to march with no clothes on, naked, on our country’s holy lands. That’s why we will not allow them. In a country where 99% of our people is Muslim, it is absolutely not possible for us to allow such vileness and immorality.

Our state should be saying “stop” this by considering our national values. Because this is not normal. This freedom is not a normal freedom. What they want is not a normal freedom. This is the Republic of Turkey. Our holy ancestors left us these lands for safe custody. We, especially the Alperen youth, will not allow people to walk without dresses, without tops in these lands.

We have made a press statement now. We are giving a warning. We have told the public. We have announced it ahead of time. We are not responsible for whatever that happens after this because the state needs to consider and take seriously that its people are 99% Muslim, its religion is Islam, and its national values. If the state ignores this and says “yes, go”, on a day of Ramadan, and allow 5000 people to march naked with whiskey, champagne, alcohol in their hands, then we will not allow it. Either the state will do what is necessary or the Alperens will.

Update, 16 June 2016

Spokesperson Küşat Mican spoke on RS FM’s “Bidebunudinle” program and made the following comments:

Source: Kaos GL, “Alperenler: “Biz Taksim’de sopalarla kovalayalım demedik”,” 16 June 2016, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21877

We warned this group before, we warned the friends, we sent representatives. We are a Muslim Turkish nation, 99% of our people are Muslim. Yes, we need to live with tolerance but this march cannot take place by ignoring our religious values and ignoring us. We don’t want them to walk half-naked, with bottles of alcohol, in this holy city that has been watered by the blood of our ancestors. It looks like this is going out of the bounds of law but don’t perceive it as such. When we reminded them of Ziya Pasha’s words, it was not a threat. We are saying we will be there, we will react, and we will not allow them to walk. If they are ten thousand people, we will be ten thousand people, we will close that corridor, we will have a sit-in, we won’t let them walk. If they react to us, we will react to them. I did not say let’s go to Taksim and kick them out with sticks. One should not perceive this sentence as carrying sticks in our hands but as a reaction.

Update, 18 June 2016

BBP leader Mustafa Destici: “Perversion and immorality can not be called freedom.”

Source:BBP lideri Mustafa Destici: Sapık LGBTİ’ler benim ülkemde yürüyüş yapamaz!”, June 17, 2016, T24, http://t24.com.tr/haber/bbp-lideri-mustafa-destici-sapik-lgbtiler-benim-ulkemde-yuruyus-yapamaz,345724

Mustafa Destici, the chairman of the BBP (Grand Unity Party) stood by the Alperen Hearths, which announced that they would not let the 14th Pride March take place. In the speech he gave at the iftar, or fast-breaking dinner of his party in Duzce on 16 June, he stated:

Anything immoral gets by in our society during the month of Ramadan and these are represented as legitimate. In the capital of Islam, Istanbul an immoral group that we cannot accept according to our traditions and beliefs, makes a program that goes on for weeks. And they even go further as to crown it with a march. Our young friends, Alperens, say it’s wrong. They say “Those who govern the country should not allow this”, and then there is a huge outrage. Yes brother, this is Turkey, this is a Muslim country. I address the state and the government. You asked for votes claiming that you are conservative and religious, and came to power as such. If you let that march take place, you will be betraying your voters. Let’s see if you commit this betrayal or not. Perversion and immorality cannot be called freedom. This has nothing to do with personal liberties and rights. This cannot be accepted as such. My morality and Western morality are not the same. My belief and Western beliefs are not the same. We won’t stand by and watch this. We will show our rightful reaction. Of course this reaction is verbal, it is [a] protest. We have always been against violence. If there is a price for it, we will pay. They should go do the march somewhere else, they can’t do it in my country.  My country can’t be represented as a country of perverts.

 

The Campaign Against Homosexuality in Turkey’s Elections

Only days before Turkey’s upcoming parliamentary elections, unknown gunmen shot at the campaign office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the early morning hours of June 2 in Eskisehir, a city in northwest Turkey. More than 100 attacks have been carried out against election offices of the HDP, a left-wing and pro-Kurdish party, during this campaign season, according to Dicle News Agency. [1] Though no one was hurt in the Eskisehir attack, the HDP’s openly gay candidate Baris Sulu, who runs his campaign from that office, left the city over safety concerns.

Sulu has been receiving threats since he declared his candidacy for the HDP nomination in February. A seasoned activist, Sulu says he joined the HDP because the party supported rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) people even at its nascent stage as the Peoples’ Democratic Congress in 2011. Sulu’s candidacy is highly notable in a conservative country where prejudice and harassment against LGBTI people is a fact of daily life. The number of threats rose in April with his official nomination but the dramatic increase came in May when pro-government media outlets started targeting him.

Pro-government Sabah and Star daily newspapers have called Sulu’s campaign “vile propaganda,” criticizing his tweets such as “recognize our sexual orientation” and for wanting “people to react normally to men kissing.” [23] The Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Akit, infamous for its attacks on LGBTI people, published blurred photographs of Sulu and his partner kissing under the title “Immoral prostitution images of the HDP’s perverted candidate revealed!” [4] The article was quickly reposted by other media outlets and social media users, which escalated the online threats.

In Turkey, media attacks often go hand-in-hand with similar statements from elected officials. President Erdogan, who has led the campaign for the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) despite the fact that his position calls for neutrality, lambasted the HDP on May 28 at a meeting in Ankara. “We don’t nominate so-called religious scholars in Diyarbakir [a pre-dominantly Kurdish city in Turkey’s southeast] and homosexuals in Eskisehir,” Erdogan said in reference to what he sees as the HDP’s pandering to opposing sensitivities of different regions of the country. [5]

Following Erdogan’s statements, two parliamentary hopefuls from the AKP, in an effort to garner votes from religiously conservative Kurds, have criticized the HDP for nominating an openly gay candidate, arguing that homosexuality cannot be reconciled with Islam.

At a campaign stop in the southeastern province of Siirt, AKP candidate Yasin Aktay criticized the HDP’s nominations and said, “You are the child of a Muslim. The Kurds are Muslim and if there are, excuse me, 3 homosexuals on the list of Muslims who defend man’s marriage to man, then I will ask you ‘who are you?’” Aktay concluded that “it is impossible for Muslim society to affirm a man’s marriage to a man.” [6]

Former Interior Minister and AKP candidate Efkan Ala expressed fear that the HDP would give gays and lesbians “all sorts of rights” such as the recognition of same-sex marriages. Speaking to his “Kurdish brothers” on a Turkish news channel, Ala said, “We are against such things that our morality and our traditions reject.” He warned his listeners “the tribe of Lot was destroyed because of this; this is the destruction of humanity,” referring to the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, a trope often used against LGBT communities in the Muslim world. [7]

Sulu says that after each public speech, he has received threats on Twitter from AK trolls, supporters of the AKP who launch large-scale smear campaigns on social media. They called him a pervert “who will burn in hell.” He blocks at least 10 accounts every day, but “systematic swearing, insults, and threats continue to come to all of my social media accounts,” Sulu said.

Sulu believes that Erdogan’s statement in 2002 that “homosexuals must also be given legal protection for their rights and freedoms” was only to appear sympathetic to the EU. [8] Now at the brink of losing a significant number of parliamentary seats to the HDP, “all their hidden fears, all the times they were being disingenuous, are coming out to the surface,” in the shape of homophobia. President Erdogan confirmed this at a June 3 rally in the eastern province of Bingol, when he said, “The Armenian lobby, homosexuals and those who believe in ‘Alevism without Ali’ – all these representatives of sedition are [the HDP’s] benefactors.” [9]

Sulu is last on the list of 6 HDP candidates in Eskisehir and, thus, unlikely to be elected into office. However, the nomination of an openly gay man for parliament is highly notable in Turkey, where 87 percent of respondents to Bahcesehir University’s 2012 survey, “Turkish Values Atlas,” said they do not want gay neighbors. [10] Since 2010, 47 individuals have been killed due to their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. [11] In May alone there were 5 assaults on transgender individuals in Istanbul. [12]

The HDP’s nomination of an openly gay candidate has created campaign fodder for the AKP. While singling out Sulu could prove dangerous for the candidate, he remains hopeful. “If we as LGBTIs are taken so seriously, then we must be succeeding in our twenty year rights struggle,” Sulu said.

Zeynep Bilginsoy is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul. She’s also the founder and project manager of LGBTI News Turkey, an English translation resource on LGBTI issues in Turkey.

LGBTI Municipal Member Sedef Çakmak on Hate Speech in the Media

Beşiktaş Municipal Assembly member from CHP and human rights and LGBT activist Sedef Çakmak has evaluated hate speech in media for us. During the municipality elections, Çakmak became a target of hate speech in various media outlets as an openly gay woman. We’ve discussed the difficulties she has faced during the electoral process and in her personal life.

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High School LGBTI group targeted by the newspaper Vahdet

The new addition to Vahdet newspaper’s list of news reports targeting LGBTI is the one about LGBTI high school group that will join the education rally and boycott [on 13 February 2015].

Source: “Vahdet’in hedefinde Liseli LGBTİ var: Sapkınların hedefi liseliler” (“High School LGBTI group targeted by the newspaper Vahdet: High Schoolers targeted by perverts”), kaosGL.org, February 6, 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18663.

Vahdet, a newspaper founded by a splinter group from Yeni Akit, another paper known for its news reports that target LGBTI people and reproduce hate discourse, called the high school LGBTI group a “pervert group.”  Below are statements from the report written by Osman Yiğit:

“Sexual pervert groups who have the support of the CHP[1] and HDP[2] now turn to high school and try to inject the youth with their immorality.  The perverts who founded a group called “High School LGBTI” invite students to picnics, trips and pervert film screenings aiming to expand their field of action.”

The report which claimed that citizens do not want LGBTI people in the schools also reprinted a report from kaosGL.org about an “8 year old transgender child’s coming out rap”.

Vahdet and Yeni Akit join in hate

The report, which characterized the call by the LGBTI student group for ungendered restrooms a disgrace, was titled “Restroom Scandal in High School”.

The high school LGBTI group had protested in a press statement the news report by Yeni Akit last March (2014) titled, “The Perverts Pester High Schools”.

“Disgrace” according to Vahdet, “No to Discrimination in Education” in reality

High school LGBTI will lend their support to the protest rally on February 8th and the atention [drawing] boycott on February 13th, organized by the leadership of Alevi Associations, objecting to the decisions issued by the 19th Education Council to “deny the proposal of Alevism as a topic to be expanded in books used in religion classes” and to “offer religion classes to first grade elementary schools.”

[1] CHP: Republican People’s Party
[2] HDP: Peoples’ Democratic Party

Vahdet Newspaper: “High Schoolers Targeted by Perverts”

The group called  “High School LGBTI” who demand that girls and boys restrooms be joined  in schools, is preparing for an education boycott. The pervert group is also seeking to enlarge their field of action by inviting students to picnics and pervert film screenings.

Source: Osman Yiğit, “Sapkınların Hedefi Liseliler”, (“High Schoolers Targeted by Perverts”), Vahdet, February 6, 2014, http://www.gazetevahdet.com/sapkinlarin-hedefi-liseliler-8458h.htm

Sexual pervert groups who have the support of the CHP and HDP turn to high schools to inject the youth with their immorality. The perverts who founded the group “high school LGBTI” are seeking to enlarge their field of action by inviting students to picnics, trips and pervert film screenings.

Secular Education Protest Rally

The pervert group who decided to join and support the “Secular Education-Democratic Life” Rally which will be held on February 8th in Kadikoy led by Egitim-Sen[1] and Gezi Park activists[2] also stated that they will join the school boycott on February 13th, also organized by the same groups.

Against the Imam Hatip Schools

The pervert “High School LGBTI” group will use the slogan “No to backward, sexist, homophobic education!” in protests where hatred will be spewed against Imam Hatip Schools. There are concerns that the pervert “High School LGBTI” group will spread their activities inside the schools and classrooms once classes resume.

First Target Restrooms!

The “High School LGBTI” group demands the abolishment of gender segregated restrooms in schools which cause gender discrimination as their first target. Parents who object to the pervert group state that they should not be allowed to turn schools into protest fields.

[1] Union of Education Employees
[2] This refers to the activists who joined the historic anti-AKP Gezi park protests in June 2013 in Istanbul.

LGBT People are not protected against hate speech in Grand National Assembly of Turkey

The campaign against hate speech and discriminatory statements in the Turkish Parliament does not cover “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”. It has also been revealed that gay and trans people are excluded from the scope of protection.

Source: Murat Köylü, “TBMM’de LGBT’ler nefret söylemine karşı korunmuyor”, (“LGBT People are not protected against hate speech in Grand National Assembly of Turkey”), Kaos GL, 03 February 2015, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18630

The campaign against hate speech and discriminatory statements in the Turkish Parliament does not cover the statements “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”. It has also been revealed that gay and trans people are excluded from the scope of protection.

The parliamentary question from Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Turkish Parliament, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), received a response.

The above mentioned parliamentary question on the “prevention of usage of hate speech and discriminative statements in Grand National Assembly of Turkey” submitted to Turkish Parliamentary Speaker’s Office was responded to by Sadık Yakut, Turkish Parliamentary Deputy Speaker.

MP Yakut from Justice and Development Party (AKP) referred to parliamentary immunity in his response and he reminded [the minister] that “according to the Bylaws of Grand National Assembly of Turkey, a person who utters rude and hurtful statements in the General Assembly will be immediately warned by the Chairman, requested to leave the floor in the case of that person’s insistence on speaking and may be excluded from the session if the Chairman deems it necessary”.

Sadık Yakut, Deputy Chairman of Grand National Assembly of Turkey, attracted attention to the Political Ethics Conciliation Commission’s bill of law on preventing hate speech and discriminative statements in the Assembly, which was finalized in December 2012 and submitted to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office.

In this bill of law from the Commission, which was established with the purpose of developing a clear, honest and accountable understanding of politics and defining ethical principles by making a detailed examination on political ethics, the principle that “any discrimination due to such reasons as language, race, color, gender, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion, age, physical, mental and psychological disabilities shall not be in question” was indicated. The fact is statements such as “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” were not indicated and trans and homosexual people’s exclusion from the scope of the protection attracted attention.

In his response, Mr. Yakut also shared the [names of] MPs who received disciplinary punishment in the 24th Term of the 3rd Legislative Year of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

DISCIPLINARY PUNISHMENTS IN 24TH TERM OF THE 4TH LEGISLATIVE YEAR

Serial No

MP who receives disciplinary punishment

Disciplinary Punishment

Other Details re Disciplinary Punishment

Name Surname

Election District

Type

Reason

Session No

Date

1

Kamer Genç

Tunceli

Prohibition from speaking

Digression from the subject being discussed

102

12.06.2014

2

Kamer Genç

Tunceli

Punishment of  Permanent Exclusion from two sessions

Revilement to Deputy Chairman who chairs the session

78

17.04.2014

3

Oktay Saral

İstanbul

Reprimand

Carrying out an attack

51

23.01.2014

4

Özdal Üçer

Van

Reprimand

Rude and hurtful utterances

33

16.12.2013

TBMM Başkanlığı “milletvekillerinin, danışmanların, yasama uzmanlarının ve yardımcı personelin nefret söylemine karşı farkındalık düzeylerinin artırılmasına” ilişkin olarak ise TBMM’nin Etik Komisyonu’na işaret etti.

The Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey pointed to the Assembly’s Ethics Commission regarding “increasing the level of awareness of parliament members, consultants, legislative experts and supportive personnel against hate speech”.

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, MP from Republican People’s Party (CHP) asked the following in his parliamentary question:

1- Is any kind of mechanism projected which follows, assesses and plans the required steps through analysis on hate speech (or speech which have a high potential of being understood as hate speech) by MPs?

2- Which sanctions are applied or could be applied against hate speech and discriminative statements by MPs?

3- In the previous legislative year, was any provision of a by-law or any other legislation applied due to hate speech, discriminative statement or revilement? If yes, in which cases was it applied?

4- Does the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office plan on any project to increase the awareness and responsibility levels of parliament members, consultants and party group management of hate speech and discriminative language?

Homophobia Skyrockets with the Lady Gaga Concert

Source: “Homofobi Lady Gaga Konseriyle Coştu,” (“Homophobia Skyrockets with the Lady Gaga Concert”), Kaos GL, 17 September 2012, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17542

Lady Gaga’s Istanbul concert that took place last night resulted in a skyrocketing of homophobia and transphobia at the ITU [Istanbul Technical University] Stadium as well as on social media.

Lady Gaga is known for her support for LGBTI (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex) rights. But her concert witnessed homophobia and transphobia under the premises of humor and fun. Furthermore, [a Turkish singer] Niran Ünsal, demanded that Lady Gaga dress conservatively and shared concert-goers’ photos on Twitter, addressing parents.

Is this nice, this homophobic scene?

Ünsal shared a photo of Lady Gaga with the comment “To see or not to see, that is the question. Esteemed mothers and fathers, what do you think? Is this a nice scene?” The photo included Lady Gaga-inspired images of Madır Öktiş and their creative crew Uchi.

Source: KaosGL

Source: KaosGL

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