Sexual Orientation

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.

levent_piskin

 

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The Struggle Against Homophobia: From Illness to Ideology

Source: “Hastalıktan ideolojiye homofobi ile mücadele” (“The Struggle Against Homophobia: From Illness to Ideology,” ) March 25, 2014, http://caylakhaber.com/hastaliktan-ideolojiye-homofobi-ile-mucadele/

İzmir (Çaylak News) –  A panel discussion on “Homophobia from illness to ideology and the struggle against homophobia” was held by the Ege University Philosophy Union. The members of KAOS GL Counseling Commission, Prof. Dr. Melek Göregenli and Prof. Dr. Selçuk Candansayar, and an activist from KAOS GL, Ali Erol, attended the event which took place in the Exhibition Hall of the Faculty of Literature. During the event, topics discussed included the bases of homophobia, body politics, regulation of sexuality and the struggle against homophobia.

Pleasure is a revolutionary intervention

Prof. Dr. Candansayar pointed out that power sanctifies all forms of ownership; the  family, reproduction, monogamy, and private ownership, and also controls society by means of reproduction and added, “We make a revolutionary intervention in power when we offer pleasure without the need for reproduction, knowingly or unknowingly.” Candansayar emphasized that any type of governmental power would desire to control sexuality the most, and said that the way to achieve this goal is to “produce the harmful enemy.”

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Gay Police Trial Begins

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Eşcinsel Polis Davası Başladı” (“Gay Police Trial Begins,”) Bianet.org, 8 May 2014, http://bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/155528-escinsel-polis-davasi-basladi

The trial of police officer Osman, who was fired from the police force for being gay, has started. Observers from Human Rights Watch, SPoD LGBTI and Lambdaistanbul are attending the trial.

The trial of police officer Osman, who was fired from the force for being gay, started today.

After working as a police officer for eight years, Osman was fired from the force on the grounds of “committing a disgraceful crime” following an investigation process which took place after a revealing e-mail sent to the law enforcement agency exposed his sexual orientation. Osman talked about what he lived through on Bianet.

The trial of stay of execution against Osman’s dismissal from the profession took place today. Observers from Human Rights Watch, SPoD, LGBTI and Lambdaistanbul are attending the trial.

The court confirmed that the sentence would be announced in a month’s time, after the defense argument is raised.

Speaking to Bianet, Osman stated:

“The court will decide in a month. If the ruling is positive, I will return to my profession; if a negative sentence is handed down, I will apply to the State Council and continue fighting.”

“I don’t think my sexual orientation hinders me from doing my job. I wouldn’t mix my private life and my work anyway. I will be a policeman.”

The Federation does not Recognize Gay Referee!

Source: “Federasyon Gey Hakemi Tanımıyor!” (“The Federation does not Recognize Gay Referee!), Kaos GL, 22 April 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16400

The Turkish Football Federation claimed that Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, who was banned from refereeing because he is gay, has not conducted any matches between the years of 2000 and 2008. Lawyer Söyle said, “This is a mockery of us and the court as well.”

The 12th hearing of Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ’s court case against the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) was held today. Dinçdağ had sued the TFF because he was banned from refereeing due to being homosexual.

With the written report they sent to the court, TFF claimed that Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ had not served as a referee in any matches between the seasons of 2000-2001 and 2007-2008.

Lawyer Fırat Söyle spoke to bianet where he stated the following: “It is impossible for us to accept this claim. In the duration of four years when this case has been in court, the situation has not been denied. In the documents that the TFF presented to the court, they only provide information about matches after 2008 when Dinçdağ was exempted from military. They ignore the period before this entirely. This is a mockery of us, the court and of the TFF itself as an institution. We cannot take this claim seriously.”

He added: “This only elongates the court case. The case is probably going to be delayed further. Such a long ruling process is against the 6th item of the European Convention on Human Rights on fair hearing as well.”

Currently, the court is in the process of waiting for a document from the Trabzon Provincial Referees’ Council regarding the matches where Dinçdağ refereed.

The amount of indemnity that Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ will receive is going to be based on the number of matches he conducted.

The next hearing will take place on 15 June 2014, at 11:00 AM.

T1-D6, 93 Days in the “Transvestite Ward”

Source: T1-D6, “Travesti Koğuşu”nda 93 Gün (T1-D6, 93 Days in the “Transvestite Ward”). 2014. Kaos GL. 19 April 2014. http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16372

I have only been in jail once in my life and I stayed in one of those wards for three months. Mine was in Metris; Ward T1-D6. In other words: The Transvestite Ward. And I spent exactly 93 days with other transvestites and a few homosexual men. There were eight of us  in total.

Yiğit Karaahmet, a columnist for the daily newspaper Taraf, featured Trans convict Avşa’s letter in his column. Karaahmet, who states that the most basic problem that LGBTIs face in prisons is isolation, shared his experiences in the prison he stayed.

Here is Karaahmet’s article in full:

Trans convict Avşa’s letter to Kaos GL concludes as follows “…I went to prison before I could blossom.” Avşa is currently on hunger strike due to countless rights violations, harassment and excommunication because of her sexual orientation. After Avşa’s rebellion, Turkey has started to talk about the conditions of LGBTs in prison, which they hadn’t seen and did not want to see, in a quiet voice.

The Transvestite Wards of my beautiful homeland.

I have only been in jail once in my life and I stayed in one of those wards for three months.. Mine was in Metris; Ward T1-D6. In other words: The Transvestite Ward. And I spent exactly 93 days with other transvestites and a few homosexual men. There were eight of us in total.

The most basic problem all LGBTs come across in prison is isolation. During the time that I stayed there, neither seeing people other than these eight, nor sharing the same environment with others was possible.

Lists of weekly use of the gym were hung up.… While all the other wards were holding matches and arranging tournaments, we were doing sports by ourselves as well. 8-people volleyball matches, 8 people work-outs… After a while, we would get bored of holding a match and walk around the field arm-in-arm gossiping about the coach.

Prisons hold courses for the prisoners. Our ward was not allowed to participate in them either. I organized the whole ward to participate in a chess tournament. Of course, just for us. Our girls’ interest for chess did not last long. After the second week when we were reduced by wastage, it blew up in our faces too. The ones who stay in that ward could also not participate in work such as cleaning, cooking and library duty.

People who stay in the transvestite ward stay in a separate prison within a prison. Staying in a transvestite ward is like living in a micro-Turkey. Since they cannot provide your security, taking away your basic rights and freedoms is the easiest way.

This situation also has an economic dimension. Most of LGBT convicts do not speak to their families, nor do they have someone to get financial aid; some had to support themselves as sex workers. There are some convicts who cannot pay their share of the electricity bill of 50 kuruş (about 20 US cents) and those same people have to be in for yet another five years.

What is that? What kind of life routine and justice mentality is that?

It is said that separate prisons will be built for homosexual convicts. There are some reasonable points here. However, where will this prison be? For instance if a convict who was caught in Istanbul [and has all their friends and the people who can support them there] is put in a special prison in Mardin just for being LGBT, who will assist them and how will they be visited?

I think the right thing is that those prisoners should be provided with the environment they are entitled to in the location that they are imprisoned. These people are already imprisoned in a dark well outside of  prison; they should be provided with proper social and economic rights in prison. What is the state for? What is it good for? Its incompetence in providing them with proper security is no reason to ask them to give up their rights.

What will happen to Avşa? Do you think it is easy to be a transvestite on hunger strike in prison all by yourself? Is it considered normal that she was harassed and insulted all the way as she was exiled from Giresun to Bafra, from Tokat to Niğde? Is it considered normal that she went from 82 kilos (180 pounds)to 62 kilos (136 pounds) during her struggle?

Avşa; my beautiful, bold, courageous, intelligent friend… You are so gorgeous. You think you were put into prison before you could blossom, but I promise that you will also blossom one day. Just like the plums blossoming these spring days, one day you will flourish too; you will wander around the streets of the city as you flick your hair. Never lose your hope. It is this state and this conception of morality, this darkness, that did not let you flourish. Just to spite them, please never give up, wait for the spring.

Let your resistance be our guide and your rebellion our hope.

Towards a homosexual-only prison

Source: Damla Yur, “Eşcinsellere Ayrı Cezaevi Yolda” (“Towards Homosexual-Only Prisons”), Milliyet, 13 April 2014, http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/escinsellere-ayri-cezaevi-yolda/gundem/detay/1866198/default.htm

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ declared that there is an initiation to establish a special prison to hold prisoners and detainees with alternative sexual orientations. The prison plan received negative reactions for the reason that it would alienate LGBT individuals from social life…

The Ministry of Justice has begun the initiation for the establishment of a special LGBT prison for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual inmates who are, at the time, held in “pink wards.” Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ declared that the project has begun to build a prison to hold prisoners and detainees with alternative sexual orientations. This project, which has no precedent anywhere in the world, was met with criticism for reasons that it would “alienate LGBT individuals from socializing environments.”

First came the pink wards

Until recently, there were no specific practices to segregate prisoners or detainees with different sexual orientations. When transvestites or homosexuals committed a crime and were sent to prison, the prison administration would consult with the Ministry of Justice to inquire about the section to place these inmates through the method of “telephone diplomacy.” Due to some problems, the Ministry performed various changes in prison regulations and paved the way for the establishment of “pink wards” for inmates with different sexual orientations. A clause was added to the regulations stating that “prisoners with alternate sexual orientations would be placed in separate cells or wards.” This brought about a permanent solution in relation to the situation of prisoners and detainees with different sexual orientations in Turkey.

The problems of prisoners and detainees with different sexual orientations were then addressed through a parliamentary question. CHP (Republican People’s Party) deputy for Malatya Veli Ağbaba requested from Minister Bozdağ to reply to his parliamentary question which included the following: “It is a known fact that LGBT inmates are segregated from other prisoners for their own safety. Is the Ministry planning to work towards resolving this problem or will the Ministry turn a blind eye to the de facto isolation of LGBT individuals in prison?”

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There are homosexual AKP supporters, TOO, honey!

Source: Azizi, Beren. (2014). Ak Partili Eşcinseller DE Var Tatlım! (There are homosexual AKP supporters, TOO, honey!) kaosGL.org, 03 April 2014, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16237

AK Party LGBT: Of course, as LGBT people, we do not endorse the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP or AK Party- AK means “white”) attitude towards LGBT people.

We started the AK LGBT group to make AKP authorities and those who vote for AKP say, “there are LGBT people who support AKP”, “LGBT people can have various political views outside of parties like the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and we should accept and tolerate this.”

Let us say to ourselves what we have been saying to heterosexuals. We say we can live together despite our differences, and there will be different people within the LGBT community as well; lesbians with headscarves, bisexuals doing their daily prostrations, transsexuals going to perform the hajj, atheist gays, etc.

I wrote this piece in the wake of the debates that ensued after the announcement that LGBT AKP supporters will join the Pride Parade this year. I want to let AK LGBT friends speak, but I have a couple of issues.

I think that consistency is an important discipline. I find it scary that a movement that calls itself the LGBTI movement prescribes a normative LGBTI existence, and think that LGBTI individuals must abide by this prescription. First of all, it is not realistic to think that a country’s majority party would not have an LGBTI constituency. Because I believe that, to be truthful, we cannot draw boundaries around the “you” in “we are one less if you are not there,” and I find it homophobic to draw this boundary.

We know what homophobia is, but it also matters when it occurs and becomes frequent. Homophobia is not a static hatred of homosexuals. Like other instances of hatred, homophobia uses many excuses and pretexts. These pretexts range from ”causing extinction of the human race” to “being a bad role model for children.”

To say “AKP LGBT people” are like this or that corresponds to something similar. If it is sufficient to be an AKP supporter in any situation, why criticize that person specifically on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity?

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