Seminar: How has the Crackdown in Turkey Impacted the LGBT Community?
Since the State of Emergency was declared in Turkey on 20 July 2016, around 100 000 people have been fired through the state of emergency decrees, and 50 000 people have been arrested. In addition, more than 30 human rights defenders have been held in detention. These actions have resulted in evident consequences such as increased tension and fear, as well as a closing of public space through the banning of street actions and protests. All human rights efforts in the country, including those concerning the LGBT community, have been strongly affected. And the division of the society has largely contributed to the increase of homophobia and transphobia.
The Istanbul Pride March, gathering around 5 000 people, has been organised regularly in Turkey since 2003. In 2015, the march was banned for the first time since it originated, and the decision was justified through referring to “safety of citizens and participants” and the public order. Following the attacks on LGBT persons throughout the year of 2016, also the 2017 Pride March was banned by the city government. The activists who had gathered for a small and peaceful protest were violently stopped by the police in a similar manner as during the events in 2016 when the LGBT community was dispersed with tear-gas and rubber bullets.
The ongoing crackdown on all critical voices threatens the work of human rights organisations in Turkey and, simultaneously, the increased homophobia is affecting the everyday lives of LGBT persons in Turkey. During the seminar on 4 August, we look forward to hearing more about how the lives and activism of LGBT persons develop under the state of emergency. The four panelists, all of which live and work in Turkey, will discuss the main challenges when it comes to the rule of law, human rights monitoring, and advocacy for LGBT organisations in Turkey.
Venue: Pride House (studio)
Date: 4 August 2017
Time: 12:00 – 12:45
Program Coordinator for Access to Law and Justice Field at Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association.
Program Coordinator for Mental Health at Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association.
Damla Umut Uzun
International Relations Associate at Kaos GL Association.
External Affairs Coordinator at Kaos GL Association.