homophobia

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.”

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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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