06/06/2021 | Writer: Yiğit E Korkmaz
BULGBTI+'s statement in Caglayan before the trial of students carrying rainbow flags: You will get used to our presence, you will make your peace with it, because we are here and we are not going anywhere.
The first hearing of the case, in which 12 students will be tried for "carrying a rainbow flag" during the Boğaziçi resistance, was held on Thursday, June 3rd at Çağlayan Courthouse.
After the Twitter campaign #ÇağlayanRengarenk (Colorful Çağlayan) the Kağıthane District Governorate imposed a one-day ban on demonstrations in and around the Courthouse. "The protection of general health and the rights and freedoms of others, ensuring public order and preventing crime" was cited as the justification for the ban.
Boğaziçi University LGBTI+ Studies Club (BULGBTI+) called on everyone to stand by our friends in order to "build a unified struggle against LGBTI+ hatred".
The students gathered outside the Courthouse before the hearing and made a press release. "Rainbow will win", "Resistance will win" banners, rainbows and trans flags were carried during the statement, and the crowd often chanted "BULGBTİ+ is Our Pride".
The students read the press release despite the police blockade. The whole statement of Boğaziçi LGBTI+ is as follows:
You thought that you closed our club, we responded as every club is BÜLGBTI+
Today is June 3rd, and we as students of Boğaziçi University, LGBTI+'s and those who oppose arbitrary human rights violations of the current government, gathered again in front of Çağlayan Courthouse with our friends who are being tried unfairly. This is neither the first nor the last of our gatherings here. We know that, but we scream that we won't stop defending our right to exist. As LGBTI+'s, who have shouldered this struggle since the first day of the Boğaziçi resistance and are among the most attacked sections of the resistance, we show everyone that the oppression against us have failed, it allowed us to stick together more tightly instead of separating us.
You thought that you closed our club, we responded as every club is BÜLGBTI+. You attacked our flags that we carry during our marches with your media that you use to oppress the country; we adorned the streets with our colors. You targeted our pride marches; we stood up against you to cry out that we were not afraid of your attacks. You tried to prevent us from exercising our right to protest by the bans of the district governorate; but, we are here again, as you see. You will get used to our presence, you will make your peace with it, because we are here and we are not going anywhere.
We will not abandon our struggle!
Who can argue that we are given the right to live in a country where the queers are subjected to the inhumane practices of the state and its police for centuries, and where even carrying a rainbow flag is considered a crime? We know the social oppression, the persecution of the state, the hegemony that the current regime aims to establish, and we continue to stand and defend our existence against these forces that try to crush us at every opportunity. We do not accept to live in a regime where we are forbidden to walk the streets in our own colors, where LGBTI+'s are tried to be erased from all kinds of protests, where us and feminist movement tried to be separated through the rainbow flag on March 8 and before. We are not abandoning our struggle.
And today, we are here to shout that our friends who were unlawfully and unjustly detained in front of our campus because of the rainbow flag in their hand, will never walk alone. You will learn how their solidarity strengthens our courage and unity, and as you try to scare us, you will soon be overwhelmed by this resistance, which is growing like an avalanche.
You won't stop us from being ourselves, not even for a day. There is no cloud, no wind nor a fascist dictatorship that is able to erase the rainbow from the skies. We will continue to shine with all our colors and drown the darkness that you are trying to set upon us. Our existence cannot be banned, LGBTI+'s cannot be silenced and rainbows cannot be judged!
“Those who protested the detainment of students who protested the detainment of those who protested the detainment of students who protested the disciplinary investigation against a student carrying a rainbow flag at the Boğaziçi University have been detained in front of Çağlayan Courthouse of İstanbul.”
These sentences are a summary of what happened on March 25-26. On March 25, four students were detained in the Hisarüstüstu Neighborhood, which includes Boğaziçi University campus, on the grounds that they were "carrying an LGBTI+ flag". On the same day, there was a disciplinary investigation against a student carrying an LGBTI+ flag during protests against the appointment of the rector of Boğaziçi University, and the students wanted to support their friends. N.D., who raised a rainbow flag during protests attacked by police on February 1, was targeted by a disciplinary investigation that says "you went upstairs and waved the LGBTI+ flag". N.D. was to give a statement in the scope of the investigation on March 25.
The attacks of the police continued in the North Campus, Bebek gate of the university and at the Çağlayan Courthouse on March 26th.
Twelve people detained outside the North Campus have been indicted on charges of "violating the law on meetings and demonstration marches." The first hearing of the case held on Thursday, June 3rd in Istanbul 24th Criminal Court of General Jurisdiction.
Tags: human rights, education