12/04/2023 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

“We are two trans women candidates struggling for not being subjected to violence and exile once again and not being one less person against the heritage of homophobia and transphobia from Süleyman the Hose to Süleyman Soylu.”

TİP İstanbul candidate Talya Aydın: No one is born homophobic or transphobic Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Political parties submitted their lists of candidates to the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) for the upcoming May 14 elections. Some of the candidates sparked a debate, such a pitch that some members resigned from their parties. The lights of the party headquarters have not been turned off till morning on the night of April 9, the deadline for submitting the lists to the YSK.

Except the lights of the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP). The majority of TİP candidates were already known. TİP Chair Erkan Baş had personally congratulated each new candidate by posting their photo on social media and saying them “Welcome”.

Nevertheless, surprise names were also on the carpet for TİP as well. One of them was Talya Aydın, a very young trans woman. Her candidacy was a surprise for the public even though it wasn’t within the party.

Everyone was already in expectation that Esmeray, who is one the symbolic names of human rights struggle for trans people and feminist fight from Ülker Street to present, would be nominated as a candidate, however Talya’s candidacy was a lovely surprise. Talya Aydın was also nominated as a candidate in the İstanbul 2nd electoral district just like Esmeray, and candidacy of two trans women, one is in her twenties and the other in her fifties, in the same region from the same list, raised our hopes and strengthened us for fighting hand in hand. And what’s more is they are in the same district as the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Süleyman Soylu!

I called Talya Aydın, who was nominated as a candidate for 18th place in the İstanbul 2nd district, in order to get to know her better. She had just come out of a day-long candidate meeting. I got to know a politician who has something to say and has a policy in no uncertain terms. Even though she told that it had been her first statement to the press after our conversation, it didn’t seem that way to me at all. She spoke with clear and decisive voice and she revealed the whole system by starting out from herself.

How did you meet the TİP?

After high school, I studied abroad with a scholarship program. I was already attracted by the leftist ideology. When I returned I would like to do something. I was aware of problems and I was willing to solve them, to change something. I was also aware that it wasn’t possible to do it alone. That’s why and how I met TİP. I have been struggling there as a party member since the end of 2021.

I was actually organized with the party before my transition. I realized that I needed financial security in order to begin my gender affirming process. I was able to start the process after providing that financial security by working too hard and toiling over. The same goes for all trans people. In that process, I started to think more and more that no one should be lack of financial security. I was also considering that financial security as a social right for everyone. I realized that the TİP is the closest party to my thoughts and I became a member.

There is an LGBTI+ Commission of the party. How do you work in the Commission?

There is a convention that I like so much in our party: If you don’t know something, ask and learn. Naturally one of our main tasks as the commission in the party, was counseling the problems of LGBTI+s and their struggle for rights, with the other organs of the party. It is really valuable for subjects to be able to express their own problems. However there is field study part, on the other side. We are always in contact with associations, and the press, but the field is not only the media. There are also Pride Marches and March 8th. I was able to attended these marches with the solidarity of being a party member.

Sülayman Soylu, who is famous for anti-LGBTI+ rhetoric, is also nominated as a candidate from People’s Alliance in the same electoral district. You are running against him as two trans women. What kind of a campaign do you envision?

Hatred is something learned. No one is born homophobic or transphobic. Süleyman Soylu has been committing the crime of provoking the public to hatred and hostility and degrading by spreading homophobia an transphobia for years. Coming face to face in the same electoral district with people he fears and targets, has also a symbolic meaning. For Esmeray, there is also Süleyman the Hose. We are two trans women candidates struggling for not being subjected to violence and exile once again and not being one less person against the heritage of homophobia and transphobia from Süleyman the Hose to Süleyman Soylu…

Translation: Selma Koçak

Tags: human rights, women