Justice and Development Party

Homosexual AKP supporters displayed a flag in front of Erdoğan

Source: “AKP’li eşcinseller Erdoğan’ın önünde bayrak açtı”, (“Homosexual AKP supporters displayed a flag in front of Erdoğan”) Radikal, 4 August 2014, http://www.radikal.com.tr/politika/akpli_escinseller_bayrak_acti-1204925/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=trafik

The group named “The LGBTI of the AK Party” attended Erdoğan’s Maltepe rally. The group displayed a rainbow flag at the rally site and in front of the podium.

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The AK Party’s LGBT partisans attended presidential candidate and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rally for the first time yesterday in Maltepe and they displayed a flag. The group shared photos from the rally on their AK LGBTI Twitter account with the note, “HOMOSEXUALS STAND BESIDE TAYYİP ERDOĞAN. WE ARE AT RALLIES. GET USED TO IT, WE ARE EVERYWHERE.” One user tweeted the following, “I waved the rainbow flag at the very front. Our Prime Minister probably saw it too.” The photographs received supportive comments but there was a hostile message too, which read, “My brothers in the AK Party, put your foot down against this ridicule.”

Before the rally, representatives from the group spoke to Milliyet’s Damla Yur and explained that they had support from the party administration.

The news story entitled “There are active AK Party members in our group” reads as follows:

The first time we saw the rainbow flag next to AK Party members was during the opening ceremony of the Istanbul-Ankara High Speed Railway where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also in attendance. The former Minister of State Responsible for Women and Family Affairs, AK Party deputy Selma Aliye Kavaf had declared once that “[she thought] homosexuality was a disease that needed to be cured.”

The AK Party’s Afyon Deputy Halil Ürün had asked, “What is LGBT? I have no idea. How should I know about it? We are ignorant about these issues.” The goal of the AK Party’s LGBTI members is to change the negative perceptions of right wing and conservative sectors against LGBTI people. The group entitled “The LGBTI of the AK Party,” founded on 30 March, already has 937 followers on social media. Three hundred of these followers are assumed to be AK Party members but only 11 people attended the initial meeting.

Some Active Party Members

One of the founders of the group, Kerem, shared the group’s goals with Milliyet. Kerem explains that they aim to make sure that the heterosexual sectors understand how there are LGBTI individuals who vote for the AK Party. It is for this reason that they decided to get together and become visible. Kerem has previously worked in AK Party organizations and states that they are able to reach people through social media. Kerem says that there are several AK Party members who came out with their sexual orientations:

“There are some very active party members in our group. An AK Party affiliated mayor sent us a congratulatory message when we first founded our group. We are not only in touch with AK Party. We have also received support from the LISTAG (Families of LGBTs in Istanbul) Family Group, Hevi LGBT, the Istanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association and other LGBTI groups.

“I have been hurt”

“As a homosexual person who votes for the AK Party, I have at times been very hurt and saddened by the declarations of the AK Party deputies. Our goal is to change the perceptions of right leaning and conservative sectors that have similar thoughts. Every political party may include people who think negatively of LGBTI individuals and there are LGBTI-phobic people among conservatives too. But this does not mean that all hate crimes are committed by conservatives. It would not be right to associate the hate crimes with a single party.”

 

 

Pecuniary Fine to Pişkin in “Fag” Tweet Case

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “‘İbne’ Tweet’i Davasında Pişkin’e Para Cezası!” (“Pecuniary Fine to Pişkin in “Fag” Tweet Case,”) kaosGL.org, 22 May 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16655

LGBTI activist Levent Pişkin has been fined 1500 Turkish Liras (720 USD) in the case started against him by Prime Minister Erdoğan for “fag” tweet.

In the second hearing of the case on 22 May 2014, Pişkin has been punished in the lower limit for written defamation (Turkish Penal Code 125/2). Pişkin was sentenced to a fine of 1500 TL to stand for 2 months and 15 days of jail time. Pişkin spoke to kaosGL.org about the decision.

“The judge gave a lower limit sentence out of fear”

Pişkin declared that he will make a complaint to the Constitutional Court because the sentence given is below the appeal range. He said, “It should have been a decision of acquittal. The judge gave a lower limit sentence out of fear.”

In the first hearing of the case, the judge had told Pişkin: “Don’t be scared, we are judges of 17 December. Tell your side freely.” The second hearing, which was to take place on 25 March was postponed and the judge was changed.

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Separate Prison for the LGBTI, Collective Isolation

Source: “LGBTİ’lere Ayrı Cezaevi, Toplu Tecrit,” (“Separate Prison for the LGBTI, Collective Isolation,”) kaosGL.org, 15 April 2014, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=16329

LGBTI organizations, lawyers and MPs from Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) offer their assessment on the project for separate prisons for the LGBTI: “collective isolation,” “concentration camp,” “labelling,” “against the ECHR”

Bekir Bozdağ, the Minister of Justice, stated that plans were underway for the project to construct separate prisons for inmates with different sexual orientations and gender identities.

Bozdağ’s announcement triggered a public debate. According to the report by Ümran Avcı and Şerife Güzel from Habertürk, while some approve of the policy, LGBTI organizations have reacted and described the project as “isolation/quarantine” and “concentration camp.”

Here are some of the opinions expressed:

“This is actually collective isolation, total medieval mentality”

Murat Köylü, Kaos GL Foreign Affairs Coordinator:

We believe this exposes a very important reflex of this government. Not only with regards to the rights of gay and trans citizens, but also, in the context of national and international dynamics, its perspective on topics like human rights, the primacy of law and democratic criteria. We can see that a government that denies the existence of LGBT people when it comes to discrimination and protection from violence, can take special measures when it comes to imprisoning them. When you look at the issue from the perspective of human rights, democracy and the primacy of law, this is actually a collective quarantine. A medieval mentality. 1.5-2 years ago, Turkey was found guilty at the ECtHR in a case where a gay inmate in Izmir was placed in a separate prison for their “own safety.” Now they will be separating all the LGBT people “for their own safety.” Isolation is one of the heaviest penalties. This means, in effect, the institutionalization of social discrimination. LGBT people want to live like everybody else without being subjected to discrimination. What kind of reasoning are these policies based on? Most LGBT people have to hide their gender identity in the absence of a policy of protection. How are they going to protect those who do not want to be out in normal prisons?

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Is society ready for homosexuals?

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Toplum Eşcinsellere Hazır mı?” (“Is society ready for homosexuals?”) bianet.org, 16 January 2014, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/siyaset/152847-toplum-escinsellere-hazir-mi

                                      

“Sooner or later, a faggot will be president. Let’s give up resisting this progress.” “Society was ready for heterosexual politicians, look what happened!” “There is no division between society and homosexuals.”

LGBTI people have never been this visible in local elections before! Six LGBTI pre-candidates from Istanbul alone took action to be involved in the city councils of different political parties.

Okan Bayülgen once asked the mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek: “When will we have a homosexual mayor in Turkey?” He received the answer, “Never, I hope. There should not be one.”

LGBTI visibility in politics has always been discussed with arguments such as “Is society ready for homosexuals?”

bianet asked the pre-candidates: “Is society ready for homosexuals?”

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CHP Toprak’s Question to PM Erdoğan on Action Plan to Eradicate Violence and Discrimination against LGBT People

Source: Not yet published on the Grand National Assembly of Turkey website- original document below as .pdf

TO THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY

I request that the questions below be answered by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Sincerely,

Professor Dr. Binnaz Toprak

The policies of denial, violence, and annihilation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual citizens continue. Though NGOs and the ministry agreed to include the the terms sexual orientation and gender identity in the Draft Law on the Protection of Family and the Prevention of Violence against Women, they were later removed by the Council of Ministers. The Justice and Development Party has rejected the inclusion of the protection of sexual orientation and gender identity in the new constitution drafting process.  The drafts of the Ban on Discrimination and Article on Equality also exclude the terms.

LGBT people, the victims of horrible hate crimes, demand an end to the policies and discourses of denial, violence, and othering and the creation of an action plan to change the way of thinking and social structure that is at the root of these policies.

In this context,

1. Does the Justice and Development Party government have a political, legal, and social action plan to resolve the victimization LGBT people face?

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Yet Again, No Place for LGBT people in the AKP’s “Human Rights Blanket Bill!”

Source: “AKP’nin ‘İnsan Hakları Torbası’nda LGBT’lere Yine Yer Yok!,” (“Yet Again, No Place for LGBT people in the AKP’s ‘Human Rights Blanket Bill!’,”) Kaos GL, 05 December 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15333

The conservative authoritarian Justice and Development Party (AKP) has not given up its perception of and complicity in the killings, evictions, and unemployment of LGBTI individuals as “a method to fight homosexuality.”

It turns out that the legislative aspect of what the Prime Minister Erdoğan announced as “the struggle against discrimination and hate crimes” was in fact nothing but a change in a single article of the Turkish Penal Code.

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Homosexuality/ Faggotry is not an Insult but a Sexual Orientation

Source: SPoD, “Basına ve Kamuoyuna: Eşcinsellik / İbnelik Bir Hakaret Değil Cinsel Yönelimdir,” (“Homosexuality / Faggotry is not an Insult but a Sexual Orientation,”) 28 November 2013, http://www.spod.org.tr/turkce/basina-ve-kamuoyuna-escinsellik-ibnelik-bir-hakaret-degil-cinsel-yonelimdir/

To the Press and the Public: Homosexuality/ Faggotry is not an Insult but a Sexual Orientation

LGBTIs got their share of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s aggressive style against women, various opposition groups, and minority groups.

Following the Prime Minister’s tweet of “I am a perfect Alevi,” LGBTI activist Levent Pişkin tweeted, “Waiting for the PM to declare, ‘I am a perfect fag. Obviously I will not learn how to be a fag from you.’” The Prime Minister filed a criminal complaint against Pişkin following that tweet, revealing once more the policy of exclusion and disregard towards LGBTI in the 11-year long Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

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