Pınar Selek

Press Release by LGBTI Organizations on the “Red Notice” for Pınar Selek

Pınar Selek is a sociologist, feminist, anti-militarist, and author. She has been studying, publishing, and working on the rights of the oppressed and vulnerable communities such as homeless children, sex workers, sexual minorities and in particular, transgender people, Romani people, and the Kurds. Several books by Selek have been published in Turkish, German, and French. She is also one of the founding editors of the Turkish feminist journal Amargi. Selek has been prosecuted for over 15 years in Turkey in connection to an explosion in the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul on July 9, 1998, which killed 7 people and injured more than 120. Tried and acquitted of all charges on three occasions (in 2006, 2008, and 2011), her most recent acquittal was amended in November 2012 by the Istanbul High Criminal Court Twelfth Chamber, which, with no new evidence, sentenced her to aggravated life imprisonment on January 24, 2013. Her lawyers have appealed the verdict and declared plans to bring her case before the European Court of Human Rights. Selek currently lives in Strasbourg, France and is pursuing her doctoral thesis at Strasbourg University.

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Those Who Seek Freedom Are Punished: The Case of Pınar Selek

The headline “Red notice issued for Pınar Selek” circulated on news sites on August 27, 2013. A close reading of the news reveals that the Istanbul High Criminal Court Chamber 12 has applied to the Ministry of Justice for a red notice request for Pınar Selek in spite of the annotation put by the chief justice.

The horror continues… Sociologist Pınar Selek is still being punished for asking the questions nobody dared to ask during the 90’s when there was no movement towards peace. As our country’s agenda was being determined by those who chose wars and death, one sociologist stood against guns with her questions and pointed to the other side where non-violence exists. Selek is still being targeted for this stance. Selek has been purposefully selected and subjected to a harsh judicial treatment because of her works on Kurds.


Yasemin Öz: If being a homosexual were a choice, nobody would choose this much oppression and violence.

Source: Aslı Öktener Köse, “Yasemin Öz: Eşcinsel olmak seçilebilseydi, kimse bu kadar zulmü ve şiddeti seçmezdi,” (“Yasemin Öz: If being a homosexual were a choice, nobody would choose this much oppression and violence,”) T24, August 13, 2013,

Yasemin Öz: If being a homosexual were a choice, nobody would choose this much oppression and violence.

One of the groups at the forefront during the Gezi Park protests was the LGBT. We followed them closely with their creative banners, extraordinary chants and rainbow flags in their hands.

To better understand the place of the LGBT movement and homosexuals in Turkey, we talked to lawyer Yasemin Öz who was given the Felipa de Souza award by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission this year.

Öz has had a significant role in the creating of legal reports and documents and the recording of rights abuses, as a part of the struggle for LGBT rights which she has been a part of for over 18 years. Contemporaneously she has also been one of the spokespersons and managers of the Justice for Pınar Selek campaign.

Chairman of the Board of Kaos GL Association Yasemin Öz, who defines herself as a ‘lesbian feminist’, talked to us about the Felipe de Souza award, being a homosexual in Turkey and the LGBT experience in Gezi.