Human Rights / Education

"Homophobia Is A Kind of Sin of Literature"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
“Tragedy of a Beardless Boy: Arkadaş Z. Özger Meeting Against Homophobia” organized for the third time within the activities of International Meeting against Homophobia by KaosGL Association was realized in the Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences (SBF) where the poet had studied.  
 
Within the scope of the meeting activity, which was supported by the Students of Faculty of Political Science Solidarity Association as well, poet Fırat Demir and translator Kıvanç Tanrıyar had a conversation with students in the SBF Conference Hall yesterday at 3.30 pm.

In the discussion named “Hypocrisy as a Social Organization” Fırat Demir said that rather heterosexual logic prevails in Turkish Literature.

"A rigid heterosexism is prevalent in Turkish Literature. People used to find a link between women and all of the good poets in the writings of the latter. For example, it is said for Cemal Süreya that “he describes women in convivial meetings elegantly.” And this perspective narrows the sphere of poetry.”
Demir: We should sacrifice some things
 
Demir, claimed that people in Turkey should pose this question towards themselves: “Are you yourself? Or are you for yourself?” and said “What I pay attention to is how much you can sacrifice from yourself.”

“In order to beat homophobia you have to sacrifice some conformities which are entitled to you. For people will lay burden on you, while you are beating homophobia. That’s the reason why you cannot sacrifice some things.”
 
Demir claiming that there are not so many works uttering that homophobia is a kind of a sin of literature, “There are works of literature of this sort in the world. But, there are not so much in Turkey. There are authors such as Murathan Mungan, Bilge Karasu, Küçük İskender who are writing about this issue.”
 
Demir said that "Arkadaş Z. Özger, bequeathed that the name “Tragedy of the Beardless Boy” may be given to his book. But this name was not given to the book, a name “It is Love” was given instead.” He expressed that people moreover were disturbed with the name which the poet wanted to give to his book.  
 
Tanrıyar: homoeroticism in Gürpınar
 
In addition in the discussion named "Taking the Narrative out of the Closet" Kıvanç Tanrıyar discussed homoeroticism which she studied in the works of Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, an eminent author of Turkish literature.
Tanrıyar, who is examining his works "Ben Deli Miyim?" (Am I Mad?) "İffet" (Chastity) "Dirilen İskelet" (Skeleton Revived), said “I studied homoeroticism in these novels. By handling homoeroticism in its broadest sense I emphasized how the concept honor functions as taboo and libidinal threshold.”
 
Who is Arkadaş Z. Özger?
 
Arkadaş Zekâi Özger was born in 1948 in Bursa. He had studied in Ankara Political Science Faculty (SBF) College of Media.

He worked in TRT Ankara TV and participated in the students’ movement of that period. He got a severe blow at his head when SBF was raided by the police. He was found dead on 5 May 1973 on street. It was found out that he had died from cerebral bleeding.

His friends linked his death with the blows he got at his head during this occurrence. His poems published in newspapers and magazines were collected in a book named “Poems”. Later the same book was published in March 1988 under the name “It is Love” by Mayıs Publishinghouse.
 
Under the influence of the ambience of the university, when he was writing poems, he often handled the topic death as well. He often handled sexuality in his few poems which he could fit inside his short life. In many of his poems death was handled as a theme or as a mentioning. (Serhat Korkmaz/bianet)
 
 
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