LGBTI News Turkey Week in Review: March 2-March 9, 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.

March 2, 2014. “Police tagging of homosexuals: Your Daughter Has Become a Thing!”

In Çanakkale the police visited the grandmother of a homosexual woman after seeing her posts on the Internet. They told the grandmother that “Your daughter has become a ‘thing.’ There are five other women like her in our city of Çanakkale.” Discrimination in Turkey has no boundaries regarding the violation of the right of privacy, while the constitutional rights of the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) people are not recognized and no precautions are taken against hate crimes.

March 4, 2014. “I Attempted Suicide”

A homosexual police officer in Gaziantep was fired due to being charged with the crime of “unchastity.” The police officer applied to the Administrative Court for the annulment of the decision but was rejected. He said, “I went through a huge trauma. I attempted suicide. The judges decide according to their own moral rules. According to them, we do not even have the right to life.” A homosexual police officer’s life has changed when the Morality Office  raided his friend’s house in Gaziantep. The officer was taking food to his friend. After an unidentified person’s tip-off, the police officer, who chose to remain anonymous, and his friend were obliged to go with the officers from the Morality Office to the police department and to give their statements.

March 4, 2014. “The Perverts Pester High Schools”

Some high-school age students who had participated in former meetings of LGBT organizations reunited on February 6, 2014 and established LGBT High-School. The initiative was formed by F.H. and E.Ö., two members of the youth branch of Lambdaistanbul. The second meeting of the newly formed LGBT High-School was held on February 21 and stated “we are speaking from the schools, where heterosexism, transphobia, sexism, militarism, and speciesism are being imposed.”

March 5, 2014. “RTUK fines Show TV for ‘promoting homosexuality’ with the music video of Shakira and Rihanna”

In its last meeting, RTUK (The Supreme Board of Radio and Television) has taken up the report concerning the music video of Shakira and Rihanna filmed for the song “Can’t Remember To Forget You,” which has had a great impact worldwide. The report referred to a previous statement by a member of parliament in Bogota that the video damages the moral character of Colombia and Latin America youth by promoting the lesbianism. The report stated that “the video under investigation has been broadcast (repeatedly) during hours when children and young people are awake. It has been found that it includes harmful material, that it is harmful to the physical, psychological, and moral development of this audience, and that it incorporates components that are reminiscent of homosexuality and contain the wrong message.”

March 6, 2014. “Demishevich: ‘She insulted my gender identity’”

Michelle Demishevich, known as Turkey’s first transsexual TV reporter, was sued by Derya Tüzün because Demishevich was allegedly taking her dog out to poop in the yard adjacent to Tüzün’s house in Şişli. Demishevich on the other hand, countersued Tüzün, indicating that Tüzün insulted her gender identity by asking her, “Are you a man or a woman?”

March 9, 2014. “SPoD’s LGBTI-Friendly Municipality Protocol”

The Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) submitted the LGBTI-Friendly Municipality Protocol to mayoral candidates in the upcoming local elections to remind local administrations of their responsibility to fulfill LGBTI rights.

March 9, 2014. “Trans Men Whose Manhood is Unblessed”

With the Gezi resistance, society came out to LGBTI people and LGBTI people came out to society. The “get used to it, we are here” slogans worked to a great extent. But the taboos, the confusion, and the meetings continue. For example in the issue of trans men, people say “How does that work?” “So you can transition from women to men?” “Are there really any trans men in Turkey?” “Even if there are, the numbers must be low and it must be a unique situation…” So who are these trans men? What do they do? How does the gender reassignment process work? Are they open in their social lives? Is the transformation to being a man in Turkey a blessed thing or is it a cause for discrimination? What are the most common problems in their daily lives?