17/08/2023 | Writer: Selma Koçak
According to the findings of the report published by Cultural Research Center for Peace, non-governmental organizations providing support to LGBTI+s after the earthquake, also had to struggle against state discrimination.
Cultural Research Center for Peace (bakad) published the report titled “Solidarity with LGBTI+s after the Earthquake”. The report prepared by Aysel Fidan and Atalay Göçer, analysis support activities for LGBTI+s within the context of opportunities and limitations.
According to the report, LGBTI+ organizations and activists had to establish solidarity networks as result of the state’s failure to fulfill its obligations before and after the earthquake. Human rights and humanitarian aid oriented non-governmental organizations also had to struggle against state discrimination while they were trying to provide support.
Human Resources Issue
Another highlighting finding of the report is that LGBTI+ organizations had difficulties in responding to the crisis situation after the earthquake due to having insufficient human capacity. This situation is described in the report as follows:
“The lack of support for LGBTI+s by official institutions also goes on after the earthquake via production of structural and cultural violence. In such an atmosphere there are limited number of non-governmental organizations and independent activists able to be in solidarity with LGBTI+s, who are among the most vulnerable groups.
Considering that human resources are a problem for the organizations working on human rights even under normal circumstances, it is clear that current staffing level are insufficient for disaster response. Furthermore, it should be discussed that professionals and volunteers working in the field of human rights may not be competent in disaster response and that preparedness of activists and individuals working for organizations may not be sufficient due to the highly professional structure of the humanitarian aid field.”
LGBTI+ exclusionary Disaster Management of the State
In the report, LGBTI+-exclusionary disaster management of the state is summarized as follows:
“Non-governmental organizations and independent activists take responsibility to adress various needs such as the right to food, the right to access safe drinking water, the right to housing, the right to health, which are directly related to the right to life, due to the LGBTI+ exclusionary and homophobic / transphobic attitudes of the state authorities, after the disaster. Unfortunately, it is not the first time that we have witnessed the state failing to fulfill its obligations in Turkey. Therefore, it can be assumed that the presence of non-governmental organizations and independent activists in the zone immediately after the disaster, is due to the memory of systematic LGBTI+ exclusionary practices.
It is not only self-sacrifice that should be seen in the solidarity of those working in earthquake zones in their own communities. The point in question is that those affected by the disaster as ‘wounded healers’, are forced to quickly organize themselves to support LGBTI+s in the disaster area.”
Tags: human rights