09/05/2023 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

What a contrast Mr. Yavaş? What happened to your remarks claiming that no administration could determine sexual orientation of people? Aren’t you ashamed of telling lies and manipulating the truth for the sake of matching wits and masculinity with the government?

Open letter to Yavaş and İmamoğlu Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

I have recently gone to my barber for weekly maintenance. I go to a barber in a passage in Kızılay. He colors my hair, cuts it, does beard and eyebrow operations, skin care and etc… Whatever I want. The only thing he doesn’t do is giving perm and that is because my hair is dyed.

As you know mixed-sex hairdressers are past masters of ripping off just as gay bars that charge fag tax. As for the woman hairdressers, they are humming and hawing when I want to have my hair dyed, they don’t accept. I mean this barber is the exception rather than the rule. Moreover it is very cheap and promises long conversations.

You can come across with all sort of visitors at the barber. Some other lubunyas (queers) just like me, also sometimes go there. Pavilion guys come for a pre-night shave. It is also mecca for young Angara bebe(s)[1] (Ankara kids / guys). You can also see soldiers and policemen there. Some of them come just for chat.

I immediately take “new bride’s pose” as I always do in young man-intensive settings. I sit in the corner and wait for my turn. Sometimes my barber makes a comment. And the clients sometimes pay a compliment for the color of my hair. I point my barber and add that he is the one who is dexterous, not me who had the hair dyed.

For instance a policeman, also an Angara bebe, once told me that he really wanted to be like me. He couldn’t have his hair dyed because of his job. We had a long conversation.

Another time, a slightly illegitimate kid gave me the once-over and fished for information. My barber immediately handed me a Nescafe three-in-one and dropped the subject. As you see he is a bit jealous. He has a strange protective instinct towards me. As you can imagine, I like this. However I never break my good manners.

I have already never witnessed breaking good manners or dumbing down the conversation at the barbershop. I mean they don’t talk about going down on women. They mostly talk about cars. They are telling about fights breaking out in pavilions in Kızılay, the cost of living, barbecue places to go to by car at the weekend…

However this time something else happened. It was the time for main news bulletin. President Erdoğan’s election speech was blaring on TV. The announcer summarizes it. The “LGBT supporter” tirade, which has become a common occurrence has just begun. My barber said something loudly when the first “LGBT supporter” was voiced. I behaved coquettishly on my seat thinking that the flower of my two eyes is trying to protect me.

However neither Erdoğan nor the announcer shut up. Surely second “LGBT supporter” was heard. This time a boy in his 20s with whom I met here, chipped in on the conversation and said “Why are we watching news? It brings us down.”

They nodded their heads yes.

However Erdoğan was going on. How many times can one person fit “LGBT supporter” in a speech?

It was a bebe from Sincan district, whom I didn’t know and whose appearance was a bit illegitimate, who made the subject dropped and the TV turned off. He said “Instead of messing around sexual organs of people, they should deal with their hunger. People are hungry, they are starving.”

In fact, that is not exactly what he said. He also enunciated the names of sexual organs however I wrote it in a vague way not to be subjected to a lawsuit at the last moment of the ruling party. The TV was turned off. Shavings went on. Cafes were drunk. Cigarettes were smoked.

While all these were going on in a barbershop in the heart of Ankara, with a client profile that could perhaps rank among the most homophobic in the city and in the country; the Mayor of the province was in a different mood.

Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş has already been refusing to gather with LGBTI+ associations since the day he took office. He has several excuses. That’s ok.

He had adopted a favorable attitude in response to the question regarding the homophobic hate policy persisted by Erdoğan and Soylu and had said: “I agree with the President’s remarks in 2002” and he added “No administration can determine sexual orientation of people, cannot order them and cannot intervene them. Soylu’s fantasia are really wonderful!”

I thought it was suitable enough under these circumstances and passes off. Everyone more or less gets out of control in the election period. I consoled myself that it was absurd to expect more from Mansur Yavaş.

I wish I had never consoled myself.

Mansur Yavaş went on at full speed like a truck with a flat brake. In Mersin, he said exactly the following sentences:

“I am introducing the LGBT report card of the government. Minister of Interior has been telling fantasia stories for a while such as ‘If they are elected same sex marriage and human-animal marriage will be in force.’ His fantasia are really amazing! That’s why he doesn’t prefer us to be elected. A great number of LGBT associations had been established in Turkey since 2002. Exact number is 14. Seven of them were established under Soylu’s administration. LGBT hotel was opened. And the most remarkable one is the permission given for Muslim Homosexuals Association. That is the way it goes.”

What a contrast Mr. Yavaş? What happened to your remarks claiming that no administration could determine sexual orientation of people? Aren’t you ashamed of telling lies and manipulating the truth for the sake of matching wits and masculinity with the government?

Taking into consideration that the same party has been governing the state for 21 years and an organized LGBTI+ movement has been going on in Turkey since 1993, what is bizarre for the organization of LGBTI+s under Soylu’s administration? In addition, didn’t your advisors tell you that all kind of groups and formations rapidly became associations with an alteration in the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organizations in the early 2000s? And don’t you know that Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been bringing lawsuits against the associations with the aim of closing them, however they cannot?

Let’s come off it and assume you are right. Then how will you bring democracy to Turkey by violating right to organize? Is it worth it?

He must have thought it was worth it since Yavaş didn’t refrain from saying “You see, ‘Okşan’[2]s and ‘Kerimcan’[3]s are waving around. Moreover, they are trying to teach us morality lesson.” Bravo! You don’t have the right to crush the grass for the sake of elephants Mr. Yavaş.

This was way how Yavaş talked about LGBTI+s, how about İstanbul Metropolitan Mayor İmamoğlu, does he fall short? Having been winded up by Yavaş, he also fell into step with him:

“He is repeating constantly that gay marriage would be real. He has a strange subconscious. He is consumed with that. He cannot think about anything else. It is interesting that he has internalized the issue so much. God will give him the best.”

No one can benefit from these kind of polemics based on “You are gay” and “No, you are gay” quarrel. It didn’t work up to now. While the origin of these smear campaigns is obvious, both Yavaş and İmamoğlu may be just imitations. I hope that they should not keep the original alive…

In short, we had been wrong to ask why the opposition keeps silent on the government’s homophobic campaign. It would have been better if they had not spoken. They didn’t nothing except empowering them, the more they spoke, the more they strengthened their hate campaign.

Even though you are not talking about human rights, it would have been better if you had at least said what the bebe from Sincan district said in the barbershop, Mr. Yavaş and Mr. İmamoğlu. Be sure that you would have been more sincere and your voices would not have trembled. Homophobia will skip from the tongue which it doesn’t fit. I hope you don’t get used to it…

*The articles at KaosGL.org Gökkuşağı Forumu (Rainbow Forum) are under the responsibility of their authors. The fact that the articles are published at KaosGL.org does not mean that the opinions at the articles necessarily reflect the opinions of KaosGL.org.

Translation: Selma Koçak

[1] This term is used to describe local people, mostly youth, living in Ankara, who have their own language, way of behavior and culture.

[2] A trans woman who was associated with a former politician.

[3] A transgender nonbinary youtuber, who was associated with a politician’s son in recent days.

Tags: human rights