Statement from Yasemin Öz

Founding Member of Kaos Gay and Lesbian Association (Kaos GL), a Prominent LGBT Human Rghts Advocacy Organization Based in Istanbul, Turkey
Yasemin Öz

As Kaos GL Association, we contacted the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) in Istanbul in 2009. Our first meeting was very productive. The July 2010 meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was scheduled to convene in New York. Kaos GL and IGLHRC jointly prepared a shadow report, Discrimination and Violence against Women on Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, exposing the nature of human rights violations against LGBT persons in Turkey. Kaos GL, COC Netherlands, and IGLHRC then attended the UN session where IGLHRC represented Turkish LGBT organizations during the review of Turkey's government report to CEDAW.

In 2012, continuing our collaboration, Kaos GL and IGLHRC organized a two-day training for LGBT organizations in Turkey on LGBT advocacy at the United Nations. The purpose of the training was to plan and strategize for more effective LGBT advocacy work during the upcoming review of Turkey’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee. We learned a great deal about the mechanisms at the United Nations and how to apply to these mechanisms from the amazing IGLHRC trainers.

Before this training, Kaos GL, again with IGLHRC, prepared a report of a list of relevant issues for the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee. After this successful training, we were much better able to prepare a full shadow report on “Human Rights Violations of LGBT People in Turkey” to present to the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee.

Over several years, I as well as many other human rights advocates have been a devoted defender of Pinar Selek—the feminist anthropologist and human rights defender who has been persecuted for over fourteen years by the Government of Turkey.

IGLHRC has been very active in taking steps related to the case of Pinar Selek as well as five members of Pink Life LGBTT Association who were arrested and brutally assaulted in May 2010 for their high profile advocacy work on behalf of the trans community. IGLHRC supported a petition calling for the end of abuse of the Law of Misdemeanors, which is often applied by the police to punish transgender people. IGLHRC representatives followed every hearing of Pınar Selek’s case and released many press statements to bring international attention to LGBT activists’ cases in Turkey. They have helped the voices of LGBT people to be heard around the world. IGLHRC has taken action and showed solidarity whenever we needed it. With the support of IGLHRC, the LGBT movement in Turkey is stronger.

Thanks to IGLHRC for their generous support.
Yasemin Öz

Dünyada görmek istediginiz degisim olun-Mahatma Gandhi
Be the change you wish to see in the world-Mahatma Gandhi