06/10/2022 | Writer: Defne Güzel
September witnessed countless rights violations against LGBTI+s from every corner of the country.
We have been experiencing a period in which hate speech and censorship gradually increase. On one hand, there are bans on festivals and concerts, on the other hand they muscle in on lifestyles of people. While those, who express freedom, are being pointed out as a target, the others who became partners on hate crimes, tout LGBTI+ hostility as hustings.
September witnessed countless violations of rights against LGBTI+s and LGBTI+ rights, regarding human rights, equality and freedom, from Fatih to Araklı and Araklı to Osmancık.
Blackmail and murder case
We face up to a news coverage published at A Haber. A judge was exposed to blackmail by a person with whom he has connected on Hornet and who is on trial at the same court. His sound was recorded secretly. The judge, who denounced the blackmail, was relocated to another station.
Another news coverage is on fashion designer Emre Coşgun’s murder on March 12. The killer Onur Ş. had told that a third person had committed the crime; however it was confirmed that there were two person in the car after an examination of security footage. In addition to that suspect Onur Ş. was arrested. Life sentence was demanded for Onur Ş. on charge of murder in the first degree, within the scope of the indictment.
Cases against those who disaffirms hatred
As you recall, President of Religious Affairs Ali Erbaş had pointed out LGBTI+s as a target by spreading hate within the context of Friday khutbah on April 24, in 2020. He had told that “homosexuality brought illness over” and incited hatred and hostility among the public by urging people “to struggle together” against LGBTI+. Hereupon a great deal of bar associations and institutions, including İzmir and Ankara bar association, had reacted against these statements and had condemned. We learned that Karşıyaka Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had demanded to bring a suit against board members of Izmir Bar Association due to condemnation. However, the court didn’t permit the prosecution.
RTÜK and “Great hate meeting”
Another remarkable attempt was practiced by Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) in September. A video project, targeting LGBTI+s and made by Fikirde Birlik ve Mücadele Platformu (Consensus and Struggle Platform) to call for attending in the “Great Family Meeting”, which was planned to be held in İstanbul on September 18, got into circulation on internet. RTÜK spread hate speech by recommending it as a public service ad. Aforementioned meeting was held in Fatih on September 18 despite the petition of objection filed by Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD). All kind of hate speech targeting LGBTI+s took part within the scope of this meeting in which right to freedom and security was violated overtly. On the other side an anti-LGBTI+ group waved a Taliban flag during the rally.
On the other hand some artists expressed their support to LGBTI+s via social media. Aleyna Tilki, who was among them, was exposed to violation of right to labor by Çorum Municipality. Her concert, which was planned to be organized in the city, was cancelled by the Municipality due to criticizing the meeting on social media accounts.
No investigation permission for torture
As we all know while some sections of the society, that is to say anti-LGBTI+s, are able to organize a meeting in Fatih and then march to Beyazıt, there is no permission for march or demonstration when it comes to feminists, journalists, health workers and right defenders. İstanbul Governorship didn’t permit investigation into police chief Hanifi Zengin, who appeared at the rallies banned, by battering, harassing, threatening, torturing and using violence against demonstrators. Feminists and LGBTI+s organized an online protest against this decision, which is an overt violation of the right to freedom and security.
TİHEK goes on discrimination
Human Rights and Equality Institution of Türkiye (TİHEK) was also a party of discrimination in September. Although TİHEK claims that the institution adopts fighting against discrimination as a principle, the institution doesn’t fight against gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination. The application, which was about the discriminatory statements of Gaziantep Governor targeting pride week remarking that they would not permit any events in the city, of Antep Queer LGBTI+ Solidarity was rejected by TİHEK. Whereas the statements of the governor had evidential value for discrimination.
Towards the end of the month security staff of Interior Minister started to act a little strange. While the Interior Minister was giving a speech at an opening ceremony in Trabzon, the security staff muscled in on the rainbow color umbrella of a participant despite the rain, and his umbrella was closed.
When it comes to the cases, postpones are standing out in September. A series of postpones including Boğaziçi exhibition case, Hande Buse Şeker murder case, “Determination of absence” case for Tarlabaşı Community Center were on the table in September.
LGBTI+s and violation of rights against them remain on the agenda not only in Turkey, but also all around the world. EuroPride march, which was planned to be held in Belgrade, was banned by the President and the police. Activists protested the Prime Minister during her speech and demonstrators from Turkey showed up by shouting slogans like “Transfeminism keep alive from Rojava to Kosovo” in the streets of Belgrade on the day of march. On the other side Cuba conducted a referendum for a new Family Code on September 26. About two-thirds of the population, 67 percent, voted to approve reforms in a new Family Code. Amnesty International gave a start to a signature campaign for Zehra Sedighi-Hamadini and Elham Choubdar who were sentenced to death for “corruption on earth”. The women were targeted due to their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
And finally May 17 Association published the report titled “From Discrimination to Poverty: LGBTI+ People in Turkey” in September. The experiences of LGBTI+s regarding discrimination and poverty are introduced and violation of rights against LGBTI+s is reevaluated in the context of poverty in the report. The report, prepared by Dicle Çakmak, is an essential source for human rights literature.
Translation: Selma Koçak
Tags: human rights, women, media, arts and culture