Hate speech

On The Skirts of The Ballerina: Trans X Istanbul

Source: Senem Aytaç, “Balerinanın Eteğinde: Trans x İstanbul” (“On the Skirts of the Ballerina: Trans x Istanbul”) Altyazı, 30 May 2014, http://www.altyazi.net/gozecarpanlar/balerinanin-eteginde-trans-x-istanbul/

Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı

Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı

In Maria Binder’s Trans X Istanbul, her camera follows trans activist Ebru Kırancı and exposes the struggle for survival of trans individuals in Turkey who face exile, harassment, rape and murder.

Interview by Senem Aytaç

Photos by Bahar Gökten

Trans X Istanbul (2014) chose as its subject trans individuals’ struggle to hold onto their living spaces in Avcılar Meis Housing Complex, Tarlabaşı and Gezi Park. It was directed jointly by Maria Binder and her mother, both of whom had moved to Turkey from Germany. Its main focus is the activist, Ebru Kırancı. This very personal documentary follows Kırancı both in her political efforts and in her personal life. It depicts the impossibilities of living as a trans individual in Istanbul while also clearly describing the urban transformation that Istanbul is going through. Kırancı’s very strong presence on screen, her strong will and capability, as well as her connection with the audience, ensures that the documentary is fascinating and absorbing. The documentary, part of the multi-platform effort “Transxturkey” which aims to raise awareness and increase participation for equal rights of trans individuals, continues its journey at Documentarist Istanbul Documentary Days after being premiered at the Istanbul Film Festival.

We had a chance to chat with Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı on various matters including how they met, how the film was made, and their personal story as part of the trans rights struggle in Turkey.


HÜDA PAR Threatens the HDP over “Gays”

Source: “HÜDA PAR’dan LGBT tehdidi,” (“HDP Threatened Over Gays by HUDA PAR,”) T24, 31 October 2013, http://t24.com.tr/haber/huda-pardan-escinsellere-yonelik-nefret-soylemi-ve-hdpye-tehdit/243011

HÜDA PAR Chairperson: “They will suffer the consequences if they try to market mental illnesses and perversions to the Kurds under the guise of ‘freedom’.”

The chairperson of the Free Cause Party (Hür Dava Partisi) Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu talked about the HDP (People’s Democratic Party), whose constituency includes LGBTI individuals, with expressions of hate speech: “They will pay the consequences if they try to market mental illnesses and perversions to the Kurds under the guise of ‘freedom’.”

HÜDA PAR is known in Southeastern Turkey as the political party of the Sunni Islamist militant Kurdish Hizbullah movement. Discussing the HDP, which held its First Extraordinary Congress on October 27, 2013 and included three names representing LGBTI individuals, Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu answered the questions of HaberTurk’s Didem Yılmaz using controversial expressions.


The Backstage to the Hate Crimes Law

Source: Melda Onur, “Nefret Suçları Yasasının Perde Arkası,” (“The Backstage to the Hate Crimes Law,”) Odatv.com, 1 October 2013, http://www.odatv.com/n.php?n=nefret-suclari-yasasinin-perde-arkasi-0110131200

I did not expect much from the democracy package. “It is not worth talking about a package that does not demand changes in the Turkish Civil Code (TMK) and the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and that continues to defend the election threshold” but I have to talk about one point: Hate Crimes…     

About a year and a half ago, a group reached me via e-mail; they started a campaign called “I Demand Hate Crimes Legislation.” They wanted me to sign the petition and help them reach other deputies to sign. The name of the campaign was “Don’t Hate” (“Nefretme“). I went back in time to my days of journalism and NGO activism and I rolled up my sleeves to enter the process. I signed the petition and I did my best to get other deputies to sign. But really, I had two principal issues to deal with. First, I had to help the campaign in media publicity. Second, I had to help the team contact commission leaders.

I immediately contacted the Association for Social Change (ASC), which embraces this campaign. I met Murat Köylü and Levent Şensever at ASC and we launched a media publicity campaign and a schedule for the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. During this process, I met Yasemin Inceoğlu, a rare scholar who works on hate crimes. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) Bursa Parliamentarian Aykan Erdemir, who has been working on this issue for years, already had contacts with the association in the legislative process. My part was to help create public opinion.


Yeni Akit: “CHP Proposes Pervert Minister” and “CHP Youth Visits Lesbians”

TN: On 11 October 2013, conservative Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Akit and its online edition Habervaktim.com reported the Republican People’s Party’s Youth Organization’s visit to the Black Pink Triangle LGBT Initiative with the headings “CHP Proposes Pervert Minister” and “CHP Youth Visits Lesbians” respectively.

Source: Sinan Kaya, “CHP’den Sapkin Vekil Talebi,” (“CHP Proposes Pervert Minister,”) Yeni Akit, 11 October 2013, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151673425697724&set=a.169467827723.124786.113817517723&type=1&theater

“CHP’li Gençlerden Lezbiyenlere Ziyaret,” (“CHP Youth Visits Lesbians,”) Habervaktim, 11 October 2013,  http://www.habervaktim.com/haber/347005/chpli-genclerden-lezbiyenlere-ziyaret.html

The General Vice President of the CHP Youth Organization Nazli Kiran, the president of the Izmir CHP Youth Organization İbrahim Soydan, the vice presidents Tuğçe Onbaşı, Zeynep Arca, Deniz Mert Hancı and Mahsun Kazan visited the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual organization Black Pink Triangle LGBT Initiative.