homophobia

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.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Arınç criticizes Istanbul Pride: “They get completely naked in broad daylight”

Source: DHA video, “Bülent Arınç: “Güpegündüz çırılçıplak hale gelip…”,” (“Bülent Arınç: “They get completely naked in broad daylight”,”) CNNTurk, 2 July 2015, http://www.cnnturk.com/video/turkiye/bulent-arinc-gupegunduz-cirilciplak-hale-gelip

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Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç answered journalists’ questions at the AK Party (AKP) Mardin Headquarters.

Arınç said,

Unfortunately, I am ashamed to say this in a place where our lady sisters are present but some people turn this into honor, meaning people in different sexual orientations. These things are not liked in our belief, our traditions, our customs and mores, and our society’s structure.

But it is extremely saddening that they get completely naked in broad daylight, challenging and having fun in the middle of Istanbul, and unfortunately, parliamentarians from the CHP and HDP supporting them.

I know that there are women and men parliamentarians, 5-10 parliamentarians from the CHP, who joined that march and who supported it. I submit this to our nation’s discretion. If our nation likes this and applauds it, it can continue to follow them. If our nation sees these as wrong, criticizes it, and beyond criticizing, says what comes to their mind, do the necessary thing at the ballot box.

LGBTI News Turkey Note: Please also see Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s statements on LGBT at the United Nations on 27 January 2015.

There is no discriminatory provision against LGBTs in our laws.

The principle that everyone is equal before the law without distinction as to language, race, color, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion, sect and other such grounds is organised by the Constitution’s Article 10. Due to the expression “and other such grounds” in the aforementioned article, types of discriminations are not limited but rather exemplified, and there is no question that other types of discrimination are left outside the scope. That there is no special regulation for LGBTs does not mean that this group’s rights are not legally guaranteed.

On the other hand, pursuant to our Constitution’s Article 90, the international agreements we ratify are [considered] law. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence -Istanbul Convention-, which we ratified without reservations, includes provisions which state that there can be no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In our country, like in all democratic states of law, perpetrators who commit murder and acts of violence against individuals of LGBT and all kinds of hate crimes are identified, the necessary investigations are started in order to bring them to justice, and the process is conducted by legal authorities scrupulously. The claims that the reasoning of unjust provocation constitute a routine in the reduction of penal responsibility do not match with the real situation that is revealed by tangible court decisions.

AKP’s Yasin Aktay Criticizes the HDP for Gay Candidates

Dr. Yasin Aktay [of Turkey’s ruling party AKP] went after the HDP using its gay candidates and said “it is impossible for Muslim society to affirm man’s marriage to man.”

Source: Suat Bilim, “Prof. Dr. Aktay, Pervari de HDP’ye Yüklendi” (“Dr. Aktay goes after the HDP at Pervari”), Onedio, 30 May 2015, http://onedio.com/haber/prof-dr-aktay-pervari-de-hdp-ye-yuklendi-517675

Yasin Aktay[1], the AKP’s Deputy Chairman and MP candidate for Siirt, spoke to Pervarians as part of his election campaign and, referring to the HDP’s gay candidates, said “it is impossible for Muslim society to affirm man’s marriage to man.”

Aktay, who told that his party’s candidate list also includes candidates of Armenian, Alevi, and many other backgrounds and that the AKP is the party for all sects living in this country, said:

“But if talk about we the Kurds and fill your [candidate] list with elements [sic] that Kurds cannot accept, they will ask you who are you [sic]. Above all you are a child of the Muslim and Kurds are Muslim and if Muslims has three homosexual people, people who defend men’s marriage with men in their list, I will ask you who are you [sic]. You are not one of us we do not recognize man’s marriage with man. And I do not know a Kurd who will accept something like this. They were saying that the Turkish State assimilated Kurds but there exists no bigger assimilation than this. You have transformed the Kurd’s [sic] belief and language into something else and now will you change the Kurd’s [sic] sexuality too? Firstly the Kurdish society is a Muslim society. It is impossible for the Muslim society to affirm man’s marriage to man.”

Onedio’s Disclaimer: “This content is listed only on the profile of the user who created it. This content has been produced by a user who is a member of Onedio and has not been intervened by Onedio editors.”


[1] Yasin Aktay is AKP’s Foreign Affairs Deputy Chairman. According to his profile at AKP’s website, he received his PhD from METU’s Department of Sociology in 1997 and is currently employed at Yıldırım Beyazıt University’s Department of Sociology. He was previously seen on a leaked video clip from May 2015, claiming that Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency was carrying weapons to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). -Trans

Homophobic hate attack in Kars

Kafkas University student and LGBTI activist Birkan Perincek has been the victim of a homophobic attack by a group of 4-5 people. Perincek said that he did not report the assault to the police because of past experiences with discrimination by the police based on his sexual orientation. He recounted that, in the past year, when his computer was stolen, instead of finding the offender, the police had directed him questions such as “Who have you slept with from the organization?”

Source: Ozan Uğur, “Homophobic hate attack in Kars!”(“Kars’ta homofobik nefret saldırısı!”), Kaos GL, March 27, 2015, http://kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=19063

Yet another homophobic attack has taken place. Meanwhile LGBTI individuals remain unprotected by the constitution and hate speech and hate crimes based on sexual orientation and sexual identity lack proper punishment.

Kafkas University student and LGBTI activist Birkan Perincek, who was waiting on the street to meet his friends on the evening of March 26 in the city of Kars, has been the victim of a homophobic attack.

Bystanders watched the attack!

Perincek, who had left the coffee shop where he had met a friend prior to the attack in order to wait for another friend on the street, has been the victim of an assault by a group of 4-5 people. The individuals had at first asked for a cigarette from Perincek and he handed the cigarette to them, upon which Perincek had crossed to street. However the individuals followed him, shouting “Faggot, sissy!” Perincek was unable to find any open stores in which he could hide. Perincek said that bystanders also failed to help him.

Discrimination by the police one year prior to the attack: “Who did you sleep with from the [police] organization?”

Subsequently Perincek’s friend arrived and picked him up with a car and drove him to his home. Perincek, who did not want to go to the police or the hospital, said: “In January 2014, a burglar broke in to my place and stole my computer. I went to the police station and the police harassed me because of my sexual orientation. They claimed that my computer was stolen because I kept somebody’s porn and they harassed me by asking questions such as ‘Who did you sleep with from the [police] organization?’ They did not do anything in spite of my identifying the offender and the video recordings. If I were to go to the hospital, the event that I experienced last night would go to the police and I would be put through the same things again. For this reason, I did not want to go to the police, nor the hospital.”

Discrimination is everywhere!

Perincek said “During this attack, during which no theft has occurred, the attackers left the crime scene after kicking and hitting me, although they also pulled a knife to threaten me.” He also expressed that, on the day of the attack, he experienced discrimination because of his sexual orientation at a coffee shop in Kars too. He reported that he and his friend were made to leave the coffee shop after being told that they would not be served there. Perincek added that they have been through similar experiences in the past.

Turkey’s Media Watchdog RTUK Fines Channel for Airing “The Normal Heart” and Gay Kiss

RTUK has issued a 13,600 TL (5,440 USD) fine to the Moviemax Premier channel that broadcasted the movie “The Normal Heart” about the HIV epidemic in 1980s.

Source: “RTÜK’ten “Normal Kalp” filmine ahlâksızlık cezası!”, (“Immorality penalty to the movie “Normal Heart” from RTUK”), kaosGL.org, 4 February 2015, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18635

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) issued a 13.600 TL fine to Moviemax Premier channel broadcasting via Digiturk for featuring the Emmy awarded movie “The Normal Heart” using an “+18” smart sign and screening the film after 01:00 am.

The_Normal_Heart_film

RTUK: Media Sponsor of “public morality”!

RTUK’s expert report, which considers this movie as “damaging society’s sense of shame and forcing the limits of public morality”, contains the following statements:

“In the film, two men appear kissing lip to lip and nude. Clips of the love and sexual life of gay men, who are hardly accepted in the social living space, are displayed on screen and are considered cases of damaging society’s sense of shame and forcing the limits of public morality.”

Actors such as Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer star in the movie adapted from the play with the same name. The movie presents a campaign started against the HIV epidemic that didn’t attract any media attention initially since it was thought that it only affected gay men. The New York Times shared news concerning the epidemic in 1981 with the headline “Rare Cancer Seen In 41 Homosexuals“. The movie “The Normal Heart” draws attention to the fact that information unshared due to social prejudices prevents access to the right to health.

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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.

Berlin Mosque to Host “Islam and Homophobia” Panel

Update: Şehitlik Mosque in Berlin has released a press statement to withdraw from hosting the panel on November 24, as reported elsewhere by Yeni Akit.

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “Muslims and gays can live together freely”, KaosGL.org, 12 November 2014, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=17923

Şehitlik Mosque in Berlin will open its doors to gays for a visit and a panel on “Islam and Homophobia” on November 24. Organized by the gay organizations Völklinger Kreis e.V., Leadership Berlin, LSVD (The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany) Berlin-Brandenburg, the event will focus on prejudices on spirituality and sexuality.

Sehitlik Camii, Berlin. Source: http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/30900412#map=15/52.4814/13.4096&layers=H

Sehitlik Camii, Berlin. Source: OpenStreetMap Contributors.

Völklinger Kreis e.V. Board Member Daniel Philipp Worat talked to kaosGL.org about panel.

What does an anti-discrimination panel titled “Islam and Homophobia” mean to Berlin?

I have been living here in Berlin since 2007. Berlin is a city of diversity in many regards. We have so many cultures here, so many types of religions, so many companies from all over the world and we share this only one city with each other. We must be tolerant to each other and we have to respect each other in this “little” town to feel free and safe. Muslims and the LGBTIs are parts of the city, but I feel that the majority of both sides have prejudices about each other.

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Gay Police Officer Case in European Union’s Turkey 2014 Progress Report

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Eşcinsel Polis Davası AB Raporunda,” (“Gay Police Officer Case in EU Report,”) bianet, 9 October 2014, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/159047-escinsel-polis-davasi-ab-raporunda

The European Union’s (EU) Turkey 2014 Progress Report included the case of Osman, a gay police officer who was expelled from his post due to his sexual orientation.

The report’s section on LGBTI rights cited that while an open gay person could become a municipal assembly member in Istanbul, discrimination against LBGTI individuals remained in workplaces.

“A police officer’s appeal against dismissal from his profession for his sexual orientation was awaiting a trial date,” the report said regarding the situation of state workers dismissed due to their sexual orientation.

“We are visible in the EU but not in Turkey’s judicial system,” Osman told bianet after hearing that the report cited his situation.

“I don’t know how far it will go, but one day we will acquire our rights.”

Osman, 28, has been dismissed due to his sexual orientation after working as a policeman for 6 years.

Osman previously spoke to bianet after starting a legal battle to return to his post. His struggle continues.

Teachers against homophobia and transphobia met in Balikesir

Source: “Homofobi ve transfobi karşıtı öğretmenler Balıkesir’de buluştu” (“Teachers against homophobia and transphobia met in Balikesir”), KaosGL, 23 September 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17577

 

The KaosGL Foundation held a transphobia and homophobia training session for teachers in Balikesir on 13-14 September 2014. The session was hosted by the Education and Science Workers’ Union.

About 50 teachers attended the training session. During the session, KaosGL’s Umut Guner presented on the development of sexual orientation and gender identity and related concepts and definitions. KaosGL’s advisory committee member Prof. Melek Goregenli lectured on the ideologies that constitute the building blocks of discrimination and homophobia.

Discussions focused primarily on the moments of encounter between a teacher, school administration, families, and classmates and an LGBT student or a student who does not conform to gender roles.

Attendees searched for answers to such questions as “What do we do when we encounter the child? What do class teachers do? How about their classmates, the guidance counselor, and the school administration? The attendees emphasized that LGBT children, as are LGBT individuals, are usually associated [in public imagination] with the concept “problem.”

Press Statement by luBunya Students on Singer’s Homophobic Statements

Source: luBunya-Bogazici [Bosphorus University Student Organization against Heterosexism], “Basına, Kamuoyuna ve Tüm İnsan Hakları Destekçilerine Duyurulur!” (“For immediate release to press and public and all of the civil right supporters”), Facebook, 17 September 2014, https://m.facebook.com/LuBUnyaBogazici/photos/a.152506168117885.25456.132128600155642/742015985833564/?type=1

The singer named Fatma Uludan Canevi, known as Niran Unsal, commits a crime of provoking the public to hate and hostility or insulting it via her social media account.

Canevi makes offensive statements openly by using the published photos of the audience who went to a legally organized concert [by Lady Gaga]. The photos of the audience show them wearing self-designed clothes in the concert area.

Canevi shared a photo of a person from the audience with a green wig and pink clothes via her social media account and tweeted: “We are not interested in your sexual preferences, go live in your home! We will not let you be role models for our children with such quackery.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 08.33.10

Canevi said “This is the main reason why we worry” by using the photos of other members of the audience with wigs and glasses. And “Mothers and fathers, it is our humane duty to say STOP to all of those poisoning the youth of this country!”

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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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President Erdoğan Sues Pişkin for Damages Worth 50 Thousand TL

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Erdoğan’dan Pişkin’e 50 bin liralık tazminat davası!” (“Erdoğan Sues Pişkin for Damages Worth 50 Thousand TL”) KaosGL.org, 29 August 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17425

President Erdoğan files a new lawsuit against Levent Pişkin, an LGBTI activist, for a tweet Pişkin had made and demands 50,000 TL (23,155 USD) in damages.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a new lawsuit against LGBTI activist Levent Pişkin for a tweet he had made and demanded damages worth 50,000 TL (23,155 USD). This is the second time Erdoğan has filed a suit against an LGBTI activist over a tweet.

The verdict of the last case, in which Pişkin was sentenced to pay 1,500 TL (695 USD) in damages was cited as evidence.

Press Releases made in support of Pişkin also targeted

The new case also targeted press statements made in support for Levent Pişkin. In the filing, Erdoğan’s lawyers wrote, “The whole incident was deliberately misrepresented. The defendant continues to cross the line and grossly insult the acting Prime Minister.”

In the notification document sent to Pişkin, Erdoğan’s lawyers argued that “Erdoğan’s honor, dignity and reputation were damaged,” with the damage estimated at 50,000 TL.

“A fag* myself, I would never use the word ‘fag’ as an insult”

Pişkin, in his previous comments to KaosGL.org, had stressed that  ‘fag’ is a word that has been reclaimed by LGBTI people. LGBTI solidarity organizations had responded to the case by saying “The case against the use of the word ’fag’ has been filed against all of us. Homosexuality/Faggotry is not an insult, but a sexual orientation.”

What prompted the case?

Levent Pişkin had tweeted, “The next declaration I am expecting from Erdoğan is, ‘I am a perfect fag. Obviously I will not learn how to be a fag from you.’ Kisses #LGBTIintheConstitution.*” Prime Minister Erdoğan had then attacked Pişkin through the media. Levent Pişkin had, in turn, filed a criminal complaint against the Prime Minister for insulting his sexual orientation.

Presiding judge removed from the case

While Pişkin’s complaint was not processed, Erdoğan’s action had resulted in the sentencing of Pişkin for libel (125/2) to two months and fifteen days of incarceration, later converted to a 1,500 TL fine.

The first judge appointed for the case had told Pişkin at the first hearing, “Do not be afraid, we are the judges of the December 17th case.** Feel free to tell the truth.” The second hearing, originally scheduled for March 25, was postponed, the original judge removed from the case, and a new judge appointed.

*#AnayasadaLGBTI

**Referring to the corruption allegations raised against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then the Prime Minister of Turkey, and circles close to him on and after 17 December 2013. 

Translators Note:

*The Turkish term ibne is originally derived from the Arabic word “boy” and is widely used today as a derogatory slang for gay men. The Turkish Language Institute Dictionary defines ibne as “a passive homosexual man” and “a word said in anger.” The term is being reclaimed by many in the LGBTI movement in Turkey. In this sense, ibne’s current connotations lie somewhere between the American English terms “fag” and “queer.” In this translation “fag” is used to stand for ibne, and “faggotry” for ibnelik, the state of being an ibne.

Stabbed 28 times upon offering same-sex intercourse

Source: “Eşcinsel ilişki teklif eden arkadaşını 28 yerinden bıçakladı”, (“Stabbed his friend 28 times upon being offered same-sex intercourse”), Milliyet, 20 August 2014, http://www.milliyet.com.tr/escinsel-iliski-teklif-eden-gundem-1928483/

A man living in the Gebze district of Kocaeli stabbed his friend 28 times when the [male] friend offered to have sexual relations with him.

Sources indicate that while S.Ç. (35) was sitting on his balcony, he saw his friend E.Y. walking down the street and invited him up to his house. Allegedly, the two friends were drinking and S.Ç. offered to have sex with E.Y. Upset by this, E.Y went to the kitchen and called his friend in. Then he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed his friend 28 times.

The police arrived and began investigating. They were able to catch E.Y. at the textile workshop where he worked. E.Y. admitted to having committed the murder during his initial testimony at the police station and he was referred to court.

Interview with AK LGBT Members

Source: Aydil Durgun, “Başbakan indirin o bayrağı deseydi tabii usta derdik” (“If the Prime Minister said lower that flag, we would have said yes, chief”), Milliyet, 10 August 2014,   http://www.milliyet.com.tr/-basbakan-indirin-o-bayragi/pazar/haberdetay/10.08.2014/1923353/default.htm

A lot has been said about the AK LGBT group that opened a flag in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally. We got together with its founder Melih and member Ali. Even though they claimed that “We are not blindly attached to the AK Party”, they also said, “If Erdoğan had said “lower that flag”, we would have said “okay chief.”

The AK LGBT group was the most talked about issue this week. They opened an LGBT flag in Presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul rally, and right in the front! People said they are trolls, and asked who would recognize the LGBT flag in the rally and how can there be gays who are AK Party supporters. So I got together with AK LGBT founder Melih (28) and member Ali (26) with similar questions in mind. Kadir (40) from the Conservative Gay Community (MEŞCİT) that observes the AK LGBT also came to the interview. Even though his thoughts are completely opposite of the AK LGBT, he had lots to contribute as well.

They met at common ground as conservative gays at some points. A long conversation that was interrupted by a telephone that plays the call to prayer. None of the three wanted to give their names or have their faces visible.

Being Muslim and gay are two things that are not thought together. Homosexuality is a sin in Islam. What do you think about this?

Melih: Yes, it is contrary according to Islam. But alcohol and slander are also sins in Islam. We commit zina [unlawful sexual intercourse] knowingly. I think that something given by birth cannot be considered a sin by Islam. If you are born gay but do not commit zina, that’s not a sin. If you commit zina and homosexuality, then that is a sin. Being gay does not necessarily mean having sexual intercourse. In terms of sin, we are sinners but we are not kicked out of the religion.

Ali: Being gay and being Muslim are two separate things… My homosexuality is not a barrier to me praying or fasting. No one can say “don’t pray” to someone who drinks alcohol. That would be speaking for God in a way. God says “I forgive the one who drinks alcohol but I don’t forgive you because you speak for me”. Homosexuality is like that as well. God may say “He is a homosexual but I will forgive him because he has done a good deed.” Homosexuality in Islam is based on Lot. In Lot, it is not intercourse with men, I mean homosexual intercourse. It is also incestious relations, claiming equality with God, defaming the prophet, corrupting society…

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LGBTI comment from İhsanoğlu: Society has Sensitivities!

Source: “İhsanoğlu’ndan LGBTİ yorumu: Toplumun hassasiyetleri var!” (“LGBTI comment from İhsanoğlu: Society has Sensitivities!”) kaosGL.org, 28 July 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17195

Presidential Candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu said, “Our society is a conservative one. Society has sensitivities” regarding LGBTI rights.

Presidential Candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu spoke with Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet’s Cansu Çamlıbel and avoided answering questions regarding homophobia and LGBTI rights. İhsanoğlu talked about “society’s sensitivities” and said “Our society is a conservative one. We have to think about the sensitivities of a conservative society.”

İhsanoğlu has no projects, promises or statements on LGBTI people killed because of “the sensitivities of a conservative society” or hate crimes.

İhsanoğlu had previously argued that homophobia is not a universal issue and had stayed away from approaches that include LGBTI rights within universal human rights. The relevant parts of the interview are below:

Your statement in an interview with Al Jazeera where you said “Homophobia is not a universal issue” remain in the archives. What is your position on LGBTI people’s rights and place in society?

Of course this is a very sensitive issue. On the one hand there is the human rights aspect on the inclusion of these people in society and on the other hand there are society’s sensitivities. We must think about this within these two parameters.

How do we find that balance? What is the formula to get over society’s homophobia?

What is homophobia?

We can say that it is a concept that summarizes extreme attitudes of denial and exclusion of LGBTI people.

We should consider these sensitivities. It would not be correct to approach one side heavily. And there is this: our society is a conservative one. We have to think about the sensitivities of a conservative society. We have to be respectful of the values of 76 million people in Turkey. There are people who behave like this and who defend their rights.

So you see the free expression of sexual orientation as a right, correct?

There is a majority that is against this as well. It is not possible for me to answer this when I am trying to make it to the airport.