04/03/2020 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

In Ankara, a joint event hall was opened under the name of Mahmut Şefik Nil, one of the founders of Kaos GL.

Mahmut Şefik Nil Hall opened in Ankara: We are getting strong together! Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Name of Mahmut Şefik Nil, one of the founders of Kaos GL, will live in a new hall that will host LGBTI+ and gender events. Mahmut Şefik Nil Hall was opened on February 7th by May 17, Rainbow Families and Aramızda associations, which will use the hall jointly.

Three associations jointly took over the venue, which hosted the struggle for gender equality as the venue of the Women's Solidarity Foundation for many years. From now on, recently found May 17 Association, which aims to support LGBTI+ activism, Ankara Rainbow Families and Aramızda Association which was found by feminist academics whom dismissed from universities, will continue to work in this venue and hold events at the hall of this venue, at Mahmut Şefik Nil Hall.

May 17 Association: Empowering the LGBTI+ activism

The opening of the hall was celebrated with a reception. Seçin Tuncel on behalf of the May 17 Association, started the reception with a "Welcome":

"May 17 is a newly founded association, but among its founders, there are people that have worked in the field of LGBTI+ rights for a long time. There was a need for a venue during the prohibitions. In addition to this need, the May 17 Association was established to strengthen and support LGBTI+ activism."

Aramızda: Gender studies

Then Merve Diltemiz Tol on behalf of the Aramızda Association said the following:

"We Are academics who have been expelled from the universities, signatories of Peace Statement. We're not all expelled. There are feminist academics among us who are still in the academy whom we are in solidarity with. And we are people who do gender research at universities. After we were expelled, we came together thanks to Kaos GL. We had shared our troubles with each other, we've cried, we've been good for each other. Then we thought we'd do something. So we came together in this place."

Rainbow Families: We saw what we can change when we stay together

Nedime Erdoğan of the Rainbow Families Association reminded that they had been together as a group in Ankara for 10 years.

"We are a group that has been gathering regularly in Ankara for about 10 years. We have meetings together with psychologists. We decided to become an association to be institutional and more permanent. People from Kaos GL have helped us a lot and we have become an association. Our joint trainings in the municipality also benefited a lot in this process. We saw what we can change when we stay together, and that gave us strength. With this place, we will get stronger."

Kaos GL: In the memory of Mahmut Şefik Nil…

Finally, Ali Erol from Kaos GL told about Mahmut Şefik Nil:

"This is one of the historic moments for me, beyond exciting. I say from my heart that this is a historic moment in terms of struggle. The name of the hall comes from our psychologist friend Mahmut Şefik Nil. Unfortunately, he's not with us anymore. He's dead. May he rest in the light. He was one of our friends whom we walked with when we set off years ago. We did our first studies, experiments together. We continued to walk together in the following years. It is very important that our friends here commemorate both the May 17 International Anti-Homophobia Day and Mahmut Şefik Nil. When we set off, we also made a call for the anti-heterosexist heterosexuals and said we wanted to be liberated together. With the approach and effort of May 17, we see that the blockade outside has failed and the determination to walk together is successful. It's flattering to see that determination. May our paths be clear."

Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

Tags: human rights