Support for ‘No’ from an LGBT software engineer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Computer engineer Midori Koçak developed a “ballot paper producer” before elections, and the idea has taken more attention than she expected. We talked to Koçak about the ballot paper producer, presented in Praga where Koçak had to move from Turkey due to her gender identity and sexual orientation, as one of the most unforgettable solidarity examples of the referendum, and asked them to analyze the referendum results.

How did you develop the “ballot paper producer (bpp)” software?

When I heard that bosses asked for the photos of ballot papers voted with “yes” from their workers, immediately I prepared the bpp by using HTML5, Javascript and Canvas. I developed the software as it can be used with eleven different background design. I actually developed website for fun at first, but I realized that before referendum it was visited intensively. That is, especially from Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Konya, Denizli, Adana and Diyarbakır (densely populated cities in Turkey) there are many visitors more than a thousand every time a day.

You developed this support from Praga, but why did you move there?

I left Turkey three years ago because of the oppressions and threats I faced due to my opponent position and LGBTI identity, and settled down in Praga. I am a transgender lesbian woman. In Turkey discrimination against LGBTIs is obvious; therefore, even if I love Turkey a lot, I left when oppressions and threats against me increased, and I don’t think to come back.

How do you analyze the results?

It is obviously a scam! I was once a member of ballot box committee, and I know that a ballot paper without cachet/signature is invalid; that is written in law obviously as well! We know that “No” won actually, but I don’t believe that objections will be accepted, and I don’t trust them to act legal.

How will LGBTIs be affected from “Yes” choice?  

As we guess that whatever will be the results, for opponents ,LGBTIs particularly, the results will be the same. LGBTIs are always discriminated in Turkey. Like Hande Kader, they are forced to be sex workers because of unemployment, and they are killed. The thing suprising me is the manipulations for “yes”.

If you want to learn more about Midori Koçak and her works, please visit the website.

Translation: Damla Umut Uzun

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