LGBTI News Turkey Week in Review: March 10-16, 2014

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are posting this weekly roundup from LGBTI News Turkey. LGBTI News Turkey is a group of volunteer-translators dedicated to providing English translations and sources on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) issues in Turkey for journalists, activists, scholars and the general public.

It's been a difficult week in Turkey. We buried 14-year-old Berkin Elvan and police violently attacked protestors after the funeral. Street fights broke out in Istanbul leading to the death of 22-year-old Burakcan Karamanoğlu. Protests after Berkin's death began across Turkey and in Tunceli, 30-year-old police officer Ahmet Küçüktağ died allegedly due to expired tear gas. The government continued its polarizing stance and PM Erdoğan called Berkin a terrorist. Amid all of this, here is our week in review.

March 11, 2014. “The police officer, who was expelled from the profession for being gay, speaks”

The gay police officer who was accused of unchaste conduct and expelled from the profession, said, “If, in 18 years, I had once made myself visible as gay, one day, and been fired upon a complaint, I would not have been sorry..”

March 12, 2014. “In Memory of Berkin Elvan”

Today we darken our rainbow colors to remember Berkin Elvan. 14-year-old Berkin Elvan left his house to buy bread and was hit by a gas canister in Okmeydanı, Istanbul. Berkin spent 269 days in a coma as we all waited for him to wake up. He passed away on 11 March 2014. In response to Berkin’s death, thousands gathered at the hospital and on the streets across Turkey. Citizens demanding justice were met with further police violence in the form of tear gas, water cannons, plastic bullets, assault, and arrests. Berkin’s funeral is today and Turkey is in mourning. We demand justice for Berkin and for all the victims of Turkey’s unsolved murders.

March 13, 2014. “Welcome to the Fag Case”

Prime Minister Erdoğan has raised an official complaint against LGBT activist and HDP (People’s Democratic Party) Beyoğlu District President Levent Pişkin. The first trial of the court case will take place at the Çağlayan Courthouse on March 13 (Thursday) at 9 AM.