Pembe Hayat

Kaos GL and Pink Life: Ankara governor’s ban on LGBTI events illegal

Source: “Kaos GL ve Pembe Hayat: Valilik kararı hukuka aykırı,” Nov. 19, 2017, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=24994

We learned that the governor’s office of Ankara bannedfrom November 18, 2017 onwards, activities of LGBTT-LGBTI organizations such as film screenings, cinevision, theater plays, panels, talks, exhibitions which include certain social sensitivities and sensibilities” via its website.

We will follow legal proceedings on the governor’s illegal, discriminatory and arbitrary ban. There can be no legitimate or legal grounds for such a wholesale ban that touches the core of rights.  

In an omnibus ban with a very wide scope, we are facing a situation that is vague, open to interpretation and rights violations, criminalizing LGBTI existence. LGBTI civil society organizations are respectable institutions working for years to combat discrimination and hate crimes for equal citizenship. This ban, which goes beyond limiting the areas of activity of these institutions and making them inoperable, cannot be accepted in a democratic society.   

Ankara governor’s office’s grounds for the omnibus ban, including the phrases “protecting public health and morality,” “social sensibilities and sensitivities,” “public security” and “protection of other people’s rights and liberties” are clearly discriminatory. This decision legitimizes rights violations and discrimination against LGBTIs.

This decision and the illegal and vague grounds for it violate the very fundamental freedom of expression and association as well as other fundamental rights and freedoms. With this ban, fundamental rights have been interfered with in their essence.

Ankara governor’s office’s decision to ban violates our constitution’s Article 10 on equality and Article 26 on freedom to announce and disseminate thoughts, as well as international agreements Turkey is party to.  

With this announcement the civil administration is endangering public safety by turning LGBTIs and civil society organizations, who are an important part of the public, into targets instead of fulfilling its duty to ensure public security.  

We expect this decision to be rethought and withdrawn in the shortest amount of time. In our country where discrimination and hate based on sexual orientation and gender identity is rampant, it is the duty of national and local administrations to combat this discrimination and hate.

 

“Where is Hüseyin?” Trans Woman Reports Lover Assaulted and Kidnapped by Family in Turkey

Deniz, a transwoman, recently called Pink Life LGBT Association to notify them that her lover Hüseyin was kidnapped by his family and has been incommunicado. Concerned that the family who have physically assaulted Hüseyin and Deniz might further hurt Hüseyin, we ask: Where is Hüseyin?!

Source: “Hüseyin Nerede?” September 22, 2016, Pink Life , http://pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1241

Deniz, a trans woman who lives in Bursa, contacted Pink Life Association’s lawyer Rıza Yalçın Koçak and told him that Hüseyin’s family cut in front of them in their car while the two of them were walking on the street. After physically assaulting both, the family fired shots into the air with their guns, forced Hüseyin into the car and drove away, reported Deniz.

Directed by lawyer Rıza Yalçın Koçak, Deniz went to the Bursa Public Prosecutor’s Office and filed criminal charges. The Prosecutor’s Office started the process and issued a protection order for Deniz in compliance with Law 6284.

“They don’t want their son to be lovers with a transvestite”

Lawyer Koçak directed Deniz to the family’s summer home in Küçük Kumla as the most probable location where Hüseyin might be detained. Following the correspondence over the phone with the Küçük Kumla Gendarmarie Station, a request was made to the station to send the gendarmerie, accompanied by Deniz, to check the addresses to find Hüseyin. The commander at the station spoke with lawyer Koçak and told him, “Don’t worry, we will take care of this.” However, later that night the same station told Deniz that the address in question was not within their jurisdiction and sent her to the Gemlik Police Station. A military officer who identified himself as the station commander and spoke to lawyer Koçak made the following statement that lays bare their approach to the issue: “Hüseyin is alright, we met with the father, he is not going to hurt him, but he does not want his son to be lovers with a transvestite, either.” Despite lawyer Koçak’s efforts, the Küçük Kumla  Gendarmerie Station did not call the family into the station to take their statement.

Lawyer Koçak contacted the Gemlik Police Station where Deniz was sent. At the station, Koçak explained the urgency of the situation and requested that the family be brought to the station for a statement. Gemlik Police Station first claimed lack of jurisdiction over the address. When Deniz and lawyer Koçak persisted, they told Deniz that they would conduct a raid at the address, took Deniz with them, and instead of raiding the address, they dropped Deniz off in Bursa city center.

The following day, Çelik Özdemir from Istanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association spoke with Pink Life lawyer Rıza Yalçın Koçak and offered their support. Ali Sevilen and Gülbiz Alkan from Bursa Free Colors (Bursa Özgür Renkler, an LGBT association) also joined the process in solidarity.

First, the group met with Bursa MP Orhan Sarıbal and requested that he should demand information about the situation. The group also contacted Bursa MP Nurhayat Altaca Kayışoğlu to ensure that the representatives were informed about the situation.

Deniz was subsequently directed to the Merinos Police Station after Pink Life received information that the family gave a statement at the station located in the Bursa city center. Lawyer Koçak also met with the police at the station. The police merely stated that Hüseyin was alright with no further comment or information.

Accompanied by activists from Bursa Free Colors, Deniz first went to the Gemlik Police Station. Here activists were told Hüseyin was fine, that he even filed charges against Deniz and did not want to see her. The station produced no evidence in support of these claims. Lawyer Koçak inquired at the Bursa Public Prosecutor’s Office by submitting Hüseyin’s ID and determined that Hüseyin had not filed any charges against Deniz.

“No Police Officer on Duty”

Activists from Bursa Free Colors were told by the Gemlik Police Station to go to the Merinos Police Station to give supplementary statement without which, they claimed, they could not do anything. Activists took Deniz to the Merinos Police Station but were told that there was no police officer on duty thus no statement was taken.

Upon lawyer Koçak’s request, Bursa MP Orhan Sarıbal went to the Merinos Police Station and reported the following: “Merinos Police Station told me Hüseyin is fine. But they have not seen him. We told them they would be culpable for anything bad that happens and left the station.”

Deniz subsequently went to the Bursa Governor’s Office and filed a petition that Hüseyin is missing and that there is concern about his safety. Governor’s Office forwarded the petition to Bursa Security Directorate. Lawyer Koçak met with Bursa Security Directorate and explained the situation.

Bursa Security Office Arrogation Bureau stated that they were on the case, but as of September 22, 8:00 pm, lawyer Koçak was told on the phone that Hüseyin gave a statement at the Merinos Police Station and he was fine.”

However, during the last meeting, Merinos Police Station had claimed that they had not taken Hüseyin’s statement and were unaware of the matter.

“The picture that has emerged makes us all the more concerned for Hüseyin’s safety”

Pink Life lawyer Rıza Yalçın Koçak made the following statement regarding the case:

“As we are trying to explain,

Both law enforcement officers, gendarmerie and police have adopted a partisan attitude and refused to fulfil their official duties. In the face of conflicting information given by them, we are led to conclude that law enforcement is being dishonest. The picture that has emerged makes us all the more concerned about Hüseyin’s safety.”

Hüseyin may currently be detained by his family.

Hüseyin may currently be subject to torture and maltreatment.

What we have experienced strengthens this thought and we hereby declare to the public that Gemlik Police Station, Küçük Kumla Gendarmerie Station, Merinos Police Station, Bursa Security Directorate and Bursa Governor’s Office, and foremost, Hüseyin’s family will be culpable for anything bad that happens to him. We reiterate our concern and ask one more time:

Where is Hüseyin?”

 

Suspect who attacked trans woman with an iron stick: I am not done with you!

After being caught, one of the people who attacked trans women with an iron stick threatened them by saying ‘I am not done with you’ in Ankara Bülbülderesi. The attacker was released pending trial.

Source: “Trans kadınlara demir sopayla saldıran zanlı: Sizinle işim daha bitmedi!” T24, 3 September 2016, http://m.t24.com.tr/haber/trans-kadinlara-demir-sopayla-saldiran-zanli-sizinle-isim-daha-bitmedi,358251

According to Pink Life’s news, the captured attacker went to trans woman S’s house pretending to be a customer and tried to extort her.

The attacker first left when the trans women did not file a complaint, but then came back with three others, in a car without a license plate, to threaten the women there.

The attacker was caught when the licence plate of the first car was detected. The attacker then threatened the trans women who went to the police station to identify him.

Rıza Yalçın Koçak, a lawyer from Pink Life Association, called the police headquarters to demand protection after the attacker’s attitude.

The policeman, who approved Koçak’s demand of protection on the phone, rejected the demand by saying ‘We are extremely busy, we cannot deal with you’ to the trans women.

The attacker was released pending trial.

Trans woman commits suicide in Turkey

Azize Ömrüm, a sex worker who lived in İzmir, committed suicide due to not being able to stand social pressure. One of Azize Ömrüm’s closes friends, trans activist Öykü Ay said, “We are all responsible for this suicide.”

Source: “Trans Kadın İntihar Etti”, pembehayat.org, 22 August 2016, http://pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1210

azizeomrum

After the suicide of Azize Ömrüm, a sex worker trans woman, Öykü Ay was quoted as saying “Azize was different from all of us. She only loved once, but her lover’s parents broke them up. Azize could not stand that her lover got married by force with another person. She told her love to all of us. She was telling this so frequently, we could not understand her strong feelings. Then she found her solution by isolating herself.”

Ay also mentioned that Azize wanted to be a chef and not a sex worker. Ay stated “She used to cook very well. The only person whose bed she wanted to get in was that of her lover. But she had to be a sex worker because of her life condition. The system did not let her  work in another job. She could not handle the burden and was lonesome” and mentioned that the whole of society is responsible for Azize’s suicide, including her friends.  

As Pembe Hayat, we all offer our condolences to everyone in the trans community.

Protest for Azize in Ankara!

After Azize’s suicide, High School LGBTI in Ankara invited everyone to gather against transphobia. High School LGBTI stated “We are gathering in front of the Human Rights statue in order to not stay silent but to be the voice of Azize’s scream” and invited all anti-transphobic people to Yüksel Street at 7 pm.

 

Having suicidal thoughts? Please see our list of resources: https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/

Human Rights Observation Report of 19 June 2016 Trans Pride March

transonur16sener_5

Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL), Families of LGBTI in Istanbul (LISTAG), Pink Life LGBTI Solidarity Association, and Social Policies, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) declared that they would monitor and report rights violations experiences during the march. In this report, we share with the public our observations gathered before and during the march. This report is a short summary of the events and does not present all the rights violations. The main picture seen from observations of our monitors in the field and news is that on 19 June 2016, Istanbul Governor’s Office, Police Headquarters, and transphobic gangs in civilian clothes violated LGBTIs most basic human rights who experienced violence and harassment.

English Report: Human Rights Observation Report of 19 June 2016 Trans Pride March

Türkçe Rapor: 19 Haziran Trans Onur Yürüyüşü Gözlem Raporu

 

# BeşiKuirBirYerde 5th Pink Life QueerFest

Jan. 14-21 – Ankara

Jan. 22-24 – Istanbul

Organized by Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association, Pink Life QueerFest is celebrating its 5th year in 2016. This year’s venues for QueerFest are Büyülü Fener Cinema, Contemporary Arts Center of Çankaya Municipality, and Torun in Ankara and French Institut, Pera Museum, and Goethe Institute hosted by Başka Sinema in Istanbul. Embracing various genres including documentary, video, and animation as well as feature-length fiction films in its program, the festival also features a short film competition in its 5th year. The winner of the competition whose jury includes director and screenwriter Ümit Ünal, Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival director Bard Ydén, and cinema writer Gözde Onaran will be awarded with cash prize. The festival will also give the director of the winning film the opportunity to participate in Cannes or Berlinale.

5th Pink Life QueerFest is commemorating Chantal Akerman who has recently passed away with her first feature-length film I, You, He, She (Je, tu, il, elle, 1975) which she directed and starred in at the same time. The film is a rather bold production with its provocative aesthetics as well as its real-time lesbian lovemaking scene that has been etched in our memories.

This year the festival will greet its audience with Different From The Others (Anders Als Die Andern,1919), one of the first examples of LGBTI-themed silent films brought by the collaboration of Istanbul Silent Film Days and Goethe Institute; Coming Out (1989), the first openly gay film of East Germany; and American director Tom Kalin’s Swoon (1992) which is considered to be one of the most important films of New Queer Cinema. The program will include the screenings of documentaries Prince Charming, Don’t Come In Vain (2009) and We Are Marching (2006) in memory of LGBTI activists Boysan Yakar and Zeliş Deniz who lost their lives in a traffic accident this year and who produced the two films together with Aykut Atasay in the section ‘Queer Comradeship’. There will also be a commemoration event after the screenings in which activists Mahmut Şefik Nil and Doğa Asi Çevik, who also passed away this year, will be paid homage.

In the section ‘Under the Rainbow’ the festival, which will be inaugurated with the screening of Esen Işık’s Köpek (2015), will host Seashore (Beira-Mar, 2015), a Brazilian production that concerns a coming-of-age story which is at the same time a story of coming-out; The Blue Hour (Onthakan, 2015), a scary and mysterious Thai production which drew a great deal of attention in Berlinale; Broken Gardenias (2014), a US production that conveys serious issues such as abandonment and discrimination with a tone of humor; While You Weren’t Looking (2015), a film that unfolds the experiences of gay identities in South Africa with respect to race and class as well; Everlasting Love (Amor Eterno, 2014), a Catalan production that does not miss a beat thanks to its tense atmosphere; Summer of Sangaile, (Sangailes Vasara, 2015), a film which, remarkable for its cinematography, is Lithuania’s candidate for the Academy Awards; and Lonely Stars (Estrellas Solitarias, 2015) a trans story from Mexico that is highly reminiscent of Yeşilçam melodramas.

This year the section ‘Queer Documentaries’ will host Welcome To This House (2015), the latest film by Barbara Hammer, one of the most prominent figures of experimental cinema, which is a masterpiece adorned with interesting anecdotes from the sensational life of Pulitzer Prize winning lesbian poet Elizabeth Bishop. The section will also host biographical films such as Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) which deals with the problems that Tab Hunter, one of the idols of 50s’ Hollywood, faces within the studio system as his gay identity is revealed as well as his efforts to reconstruct his career with his open identity in the face of great hardships and The New Man (El Hombre Nuevo, 2015), a Teddy Award winning documentary that follows the traces of the convoluted past of Stefania, a trans woman in today’s Uruguay who used to be a Sandinista guerilla in Nicaragua as a child as well as productions such as Misfits (2015), award-winning documentary maker Jannik Splidsboel’s latest film that tells the story of the members of an LGBT youth center in Oklahoma, and Madame Phung’s Last Journey (Chuyen di cuoi cùng cua chi Phung, 2014).

The festival continues to host programmers from festivals abroad this year. The history of black queer movement will be discussed together with director Topher Campbell and programmer Jay Bernard upon the screenings of films from the British black queer cinema in the section ‘Qara Queer’ programmed with the collaboration of BFI Flare. The festival program will also include a queer animation section prepared by DOK Leipzig programmer Annegret Richter and containing award-winning films.

See the Queer Fest Flyer!

Pink Life QueerFest Celebrates 5th Edition With A Queer Short Films Competition

10270524_621939394542845_1288902158972299412_n

Pink Life QueerFest celebrates their 5th edition with additions to its wide program. The Festival includes a short films competition for the first time, this year. Within the competition, short queer movies from Sweden to Thailand will be screened during the Festival. QueerFest will award a prize money for the winner besides an opportunity of participation for the director of the movie to Cannes Film Festival or Berlin Film Festival.

The selection jury for the queer shorts competition is composed of screenwriter and director Umit Unal, Director of Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival Brad Ydén, and board member of Altyazi publication, film critique Gozde Onaran.

12 Movies in The Queer Shorts Competition are:

09:55 – 11:05, Ingrid Ekman, Bergsgatan 4b (2015), Director: Cristine Berglund & Sophie Vukovic

Wannan Kong Duen (2014), Director: Jirassaya Wongsutin

San Cristóbal (2015), Director: Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo

En Eftermiddag (2014), Director: Søren Green

Hole (2014), Director: Martin Edralin

phoria (2015), Director: Forrest Lotterhos

Det bor inga bögar i Bollebygd (2015), Director: Mikael Bundsen

A Qui La Faute (2015), Director: Anne-Claire Jaulin

Code Academy (2014), Director: Nisha Ganatra

The Future Perfect (2015), Director: Nick Citton

La Meteos des Plages (2014), Director: Aude Léa Rapin

Vintage Porn – Part I (2014), Director: Emre Busse & Burak Erkil