09/06/2011 | Writer: Kaos GL

The 6th International Meeting against Homophobia was concluded with the International March held in Ankara.


The 6th International Meeting against Homophobia was concluded with the International March held in Ankara. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) individuals coming from all over Turkey with a wish to have the reality of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” recognized for constitutional equality walked against homophobia and transphobia from Kurtuluş Park to Kizilay Sakarya Street.
Coming to Ankara from Caucasus, Middle East and the Balkans with the aim of establishing a “Regional Network against Homophobia”, individuals against homophobia and transphobia walked hand-in-hand with their LGBT brothers and sisters in Turkey and demonstrated an emblem of international solidarity. Furthermore, RFSL members from Sweden were also there with LGBTs in Turkey.
A pioneering event also took place during the March against Homophobia and Transphobia, organized this year for the fourth time by Kaos GL. Iranian LGBT refugees finding asylum in Turkey also joined the march, voicing their slogans, “Ahmadinejad! We exist, we are here!”.
Abundant support was also provided to the march under Rainbow flags by the Rainbow Family Group (GAG) members, organized in Ankara, and friends of LGBT and feminists from various parts of the civil society.
LGBT organizations of Turkey and campus groups from Diyarbakir, Adana, Eskişehir, Izmir and Istanbul, as well as those already in Ankara joined in the march. Along with the minibus service from Kayseri for LGBT refugees, the event also witnessed the first service of a “Rainbow Bus” from Istanbul to Ankara. Members of the METU Solidarity Group, whose application for “Group” status have been rejected by the Rectorship time after time for years, attended the March against Homophobia and Transphobia after the Pride March they organized on 14th of May for the first time in METU.
For Constitutional Equality against Homophobia and Transphobia!
During the “March against Homophobia and Transphobia” held in Ankara on Sunday, 22nd of May, the one banner upheld by the marchers bore the signature of the Rainbow Coalition against Discrimination formed by the LGBT organizations of Turkey.
During the march the placards upheld included “Make room for LGBTs in the Constitution!”, “Annex to Article 10: Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity!” and “Discrimination Law must stop Discriminating!”, while the slogans shouted were “No Solitary Salvation! It’s for All or None!”, “Dilek Ince is Here; Where are her Murderers?”, “Ahmet Yildiz is Here; Where are his Murderers?”, “Failure to Find the Killers makes you an Accomplice!”, “Love, Love, Freedom! Step Back, Hate!”, “For a Boss- and Pimp-Free World!” and “No Freedom, No Peace!”.
The March against Homophobia and Transphobia started its course at the Kurtuluş-Kibris Street Crossing and was completed at Kizilay Sakarya Street. The 6th Meeting against Homophobia and the March were concluded with the Press Statement demanding constitutional recognition and voicing a resistant “No!” to “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Government Legitimizes Discrimination against LGBTs!
The Rainbow Coalition states, the Government fails to recognize the reality of sexual orientation and gender identity both as a fact and within the scope of laws and thus, ignores LGBT individuals in the public and social spheres. The Government does not admit the presence of LGBTs even under the section titled “Principle of Equality and Prohibition of Discrimination” of the “Draft Law on the Anti-Discrimination and Equality Institution” and by this policy, aggravates all types of discrimination against LGBTs.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-Gender individuals are still deprived of fundamental basic human rights.
The living rights of LGBTs are snatched away; they are subject to violence and fall victim to hate murders. 
The Police are not putting forth any special effort to find the murderers of LGBT individuals, while Courts continue to award reduced penalties to the murderers for having killed LGBTs.
The freedoms of expression and organization of LGBT individuals are under the siege of the “public morality” blockade. Having given up closing down LGBT Associations, the Government either restricts access to the official sites of LGBTs or directly closes the LGBT profile sites.
LGBTs are denied access to social, cultural, economic and political spheres of life. They are refused employment or are even fired on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity and the discriminatory laws make it impossible for them to practice their professions.
LGBTs of Turkey demand the recognition of the reality of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and the provision of a legal guarantee that will allow them to participate equally in all spheres of societal life.
The Rainbow Coalition states that the exclusion of the phrase “sexual identity” from draft laws currently prepared with the aim of protecting individuals against discrimination legitimizes discrimination and human rights violations against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) individuals and holds the Government responsible for this situation.
Calling on individuals and organizations with increased sensitivity to discrimination and human rights violations against LGBT individuals to take action, the Rainbow Coalition invites reaction for the cause to have the phrases “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” included and recognized in the “Draft Law on the Anti-Discrimination and Equality Institution”.
For Photos by Kaos GL Reporter, Gülistan Aydoğdu:
For Photos from 1st of May March of the Rainbow Coalition: 
Anti-Homophobia Meeting Ankara, Turkey May 22, 2011
Translated from Turkish by Gökçe Katkıcı

Tags: human rights