Ismail Saymaz from the Radikal newspaper and Yıldız Tar from Kaos GL participated in the “Hate Crimes” panel, on “Hrant Dink and Zirve Publishing House Assassinations” and “Sexual Orientation- and Gender Identity-based Hate Crimes,” at Mersin University. The panel was moved to a larger lecture hall due to high turnout.
Source: İsmail Saymaz, “Seks İşçisinin bastırdığı karta ‘Pornografik Ürün’ Cezası Verildi” (“Sex Workers Penalized after Business Cards were Deemed ‘Pornographic Material’”), radikal.com.tr, December 24, 2014, http://www.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/seks_iscisinin_bastirdigi_karta_pornografik_urun_cezasi_verildi-1257674
19 individuals, consisting of alleged sex workers and those who allegedly printed and distributed their business cards, were handed down prison sentences by an Ankara court yesterday.
An unusual decision was made by a court in Ankara yesterday regarding 19 people – among them sex workers and their acquaintances, who allegedly distributed calling cards in public. These cards, which until today were processed as a misdemeanor for “pollution,” were deemed “pornographic material.” This way the court was able to hand down criminal sentences for “obscenity in places open to children.” The cards’ owner was sentenced to one and a half years of prison time in addition to a 5,000 TL (2160 USD) penalty, and the person who allegedly distributed the cards was sentenced to two years of prison time as well as a 5,000 TL penalty.
An anonymous tip to the Ankara Police Department in 2012 reported that “passers-by are being harassed by way of dispersing and distributing cards for prostitution in front of businesses, schools and bus stops around the vicinity of the statue in Ulus Square.” The police responded by gathering the cards around the reported area and requested that the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication determine which women and trans individuals the phone numbers on the cards belonged to. The defendants were then identified.
Source: Halil Kandok, “Dikkat dikkat, bir trans daha intihar etti! (“Alert alert, another trans committed suicide”), Kaos GL, August 25, 2014, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=17383
Is this a suicide, or a hate murder committed with a secret weapon, a weapon of hatred? To remain silent in the face of discrimination is a weapon that kills gay and trans people.
News about trans activist Figen’s suicide dropped on one of the LGBTI news websites. Yes, just the news of it; did we take any other action? Everyone continued with their everyday life. Let alone the heterosexual world, even the LGBTIs did not care. Today I witnessed a speech that fails to act on the discrimination and murders that LGBTIs face. “They should not openly behave in a way to disturb the social order,” it said. This sentence was the expression of the universal approach towards gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. What this conveys is that LGBTIs do not have the right to live as self-defined selves. They can breath only in a manner that will not discomfort the heterosexual world. If they cross those boundaries, they deserve all forms of discrimination and hateful attacks they are subjected to.
Can LGBTIs, who are deprived of their right to life, tolerate this vegetative state, and if so, for how much longer? Always on pins and needles, always the target of lovelessness and hatred, deprived of the right to work, the right to socialize, the right to become part of the social environment… If we are able to live despite homophobia and transphobia, this is a great success. Because LGBTIs are supported neither by the institution of the family, nor by the state, nor by any other unit. No one cares about the LGBTIs who die. For instance, lately, everyone has been taking the ALS ice bucket challenge. Yet, the diversity of sexual orientation and of trans gender identity are not illnesses; they are the dispossession of healthy individuals’ right to life by heterosexism. So, why are people not trying to draw attention to this? Even LGBTIs make themselves shiver with ice water to raise awareness of ALS, yet they remain apathetic to their own sexual identity.
Source: İpek İzci, “Neticede futbol sadece futbol değil!” (“In the end, football is not only football!”) Radikal, 28 December 2013, http://kitap.radikal.com.tr/Makale/neticede-futbol-sadece-futbol-degil-389256
The book When Manhood Falls Offside is the story of Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ who lost his job as a referee because of his homosexual identity.
At the beginning of 2009, Trabzon District Referee Board asked me to provide certification regarding my mandatory military service requirement. The phrase “received a report for unfit to serve in the military” was written in my letter. I submitted the letter to the federation and continued my job as a referee for the next two months. One day when I was getting ready to go to practice, I received a phone call from the person who is responsible for referee reassignments. He said, “Halil İbrahim, because you did not complete your military service, you cannot work as a referee.”