March 2012 Kaos GL Media Report Launched
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
By: Kaos GL
Kaos GL has been monitoring the media in the last 4 years and sharing the outcomes and the reports via its news site kaosgl.org. These reports are being gathered in annual books, which can be found at Kaos GL’s Culture Center. Here is March’s Media Report:
During the month of March 2012 we screened 336 news containing the words: gey, gay, lezbiyen, transeksüel, transseksüel, travesti, eşcinsel, biseksüel, ibne, sevici, queer, cinsel yönelim, cinsel tercih, cinsel kimlik. 44 of them were published in Turkish newspapers, while 12 were found in magazines. Among the 175 news containing the above-mentioned words, 160 dealt with homosexuality and other topics of LGBT interest in a direct way. 63 column articles, 175 news articles, 43 articles dealing with culture and arts and 50 magazine articles were published during the month of March.
104 of these 336 total news dealt with human rights. Only 47 of them included the opinions of experts or LGBT community representatives. Only in two of the articles taken into examination the names of the ones who underwent physical attacks were hidden. In 93 of the news the words used by the journalists are to be judged as inappropriate (e.g. sexual preference, sexual perversion). 7 of the articles contained hate speech. In 128 of the news some stereotypes were put forward. 60 of these 128 are patently homophobic.
News from LGBT organizations in Turkey
“The Draft of Law concerning the protection of family and the prevention of violence against women has been approved by the Justice Commitee. In the draft homosexual, bisexual and transsexual individuals have been totally overlooked. The objections made by some CHP deputies and their requests for the inclusion of homosexual individuals in the scope of the law were refused”.
The exclusion of LGBT individuals from the above-mentioned Draft of Law has been reported by newspapers such as Sabah, Vatan, Yurt, Hürriyet, Posta, Akşam, İlkhaber, İşte Çanakkale, Cumhuriyet, Çanakkale Objektif and Birgün. It is worth stressing the lexical mistakes that were made: the use of expressions such as “third sex” or “different sexual orientations” eventually results in the emargination and alienation of LGBT individuals. A good example has been provided, though, by Akşam.
Sabah (March 3rd) “Transvestıtes out of scope. Despite the efforts of CHP deputies in the Committee supporting the inclusion in the scope of the law of people with different sexual orientations, the subcommittee refused their requests”. Evrin Güvendik / Ankara.
Hürriyet (March 4th) “Small changes to the violence law. Homosexuals and unmarried couples have been left outside. The expression “in a close relationship”, designed as to include in the scope of the law individuals such as homosexuals and ummarried coupes, will not take place in the draft. CHP deputy and member of the Committee Dilek Akagün Yılmaz’s suggestion to include gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals through the expression “third sex” has been refused as well. Bülent Sarıoğlu / Ankara
Akşam (March 4th)Fatma Şahin declared: "I guarantee”. The Minister for Family and Social Policies Fatma Şahin declared "I guarantee: all objections will be taken into consideration by the Subcommittee”, but the “Platform against violence” - composed by 237 women organizations and influential in the design of the Law concerning the prevention of violence against women – is not persuaded. The requests the platform moved forward in yesterday’s press conference are as follows: it should be cleary expressed that violence against women is a crime against human rights; the Law against Discrimination should also deal with the dynamics behind violence, such as effective inequality; the basic principles of the law should comply with international agreements on the matter, and especially with the Istanbul Agreement; expressions such as “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity” should be included in the law”. Özlem Akarsu Çelik
Hürriyet Pazar (March 11th) “It is our old acquaintance the only AKP deputy caring about the homosexuals. Apparently, the Law on violence against women does not include them in its scope. The efforts of CHP deputy Dilek Akagün Yılmaz for their inclusion did not succeed. It is AKP deputy Recep Özel who got involved the most. How come? Well, he was the only AKP deputy to support Yılmaz’s claims. Özel, who had just come back from his journey in the US, said “Let’s write it too, I don’t see where all the fuss is about”. As a response his friend (and AKP deputy) Ramazan Can said “If you had stayed in America it would have been much better”.
“Pembe Hayat LGBTT Association organized a press conference on March 3rd, before the Meeting on Sex Work and Human Rights. They maintained that by reuniting sex workers from Turkey and all over the world, their problems would have been openly discussed. All human rights activists have been invited to the above-mentioned Meeting”.
Pembe Hayat Association’s activity has been reported by Ankara-based Başkent haber, Radikal (Berrin Karakaş), Haber Türk (Refika Karabacak), Özgür Gündem (Nagihan Akarsel) and Cumhuriyet (Deniz Ülkütekin). The news concerning the Meeting and its topics were published in a suitable and balanced way.
Başkent Haber “There will be protests against discrimination and alienation”.
Haber Türk “Sex workers will march in Ankara tonight”.
Radikal Please do not kill us! Today is the International Day of Sex Workers’ Rights. Those who make the oldest job in the world say: “Do not violate our rights any more!”.
Cumhuriyet “Your penis doesn’t make a man out of you”. Buck Angel took part to last week’s Meeting on Sex Workers in Ankara via videoconference. He pointed out that even among the transsexual males community he had to struggle against alienation”.
Özgür Gündem “The theatrical piece “Oyun içinde Oyunbozan” [lit. The spoilsport in the game] meets with art lovers”.
Eyüp Tatlıpınar, from Akşam newspaper, met with Listag parents on March 4th, in relation to the documentary “Benim çocuğum” [lit. My son]. This documentary deals with families living the difficulties of being an activist in a conservative, homophobic and transphobic society, their exposure to violence and discrimination. The resulting interview is respectful and sensitive.
Sevim Gözay, from Akşam newspaper, dealt with the documentary Benim Çocuğum in a column article, on March 15th.
“Benim Çocuğum is not about pious, or better “resentful”, generations. It is about the step-children of this homophobic world we live in, those who are always exposed to inimical eyes, those who are beaten and killed in the twinkle of an eye: lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. Did you ever think that your own son could be one of them?”.
Cumhuriyet (March 25th) “Ongoing support to Benim çocuğum. These are the last three weeks to support the documentary “Benim Çocuğum”, which deals with families whose children are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or transvestite. Listag (LGBT families of Istanbul), which aims at completing the shootings thanks to the money collected through crowd funding, believes it will be able to make their voices heard by greater masses and give their own contribution to social change and the end of violence against LGBT individuals. The campaign will end on April 9th. In order to provide your support you can find the relative IndieGoGo link at www.listagfilm.com”
Also the news published by Taraf on March 5th is of interest to the LGBT community.
“The Supreme Court has broadened the concept of equality. The Supreme Court evaluated the reallocation of the tasks of a woman on maternity leave to another worker as contrary to the principle of equality. Moreover, it expressed the necessity of prohibiting the discrimination based on sexual orientation”
Yurt (March 28th) “The pink open secret. The General Staff remains silent about the documentary “Pembe Tezkere”, published by the BBC and dealing with homosexuals in the Turkish military. Kaos GL says: “That’s an open secret! Everyone knows what homosexuals have to get through. The General Staff lied. The homosexuals who enrolled at the draft offices of the Ministry of Defence explained how they were treated even twelve years ago. The BBC documentary “Pembe Tezkere” proved that nothing changed in the last twelve years””.
The March issue of Güncel Hukuk magazine dealt with hate crimes, and Melek Göregenli (part of the Counselling Section of Kaos GL) and Kaos Dergi (run by Kaos GL) were shown as positive examples.
“Hate crimes, LGBT individuals, hate speech and representation in the media. The ones who use hate speech towards LGBT individuals in Turkey are the same who go on outlining a hierarchy of rights. Even the government can spread hate speech against the LGBT community with the intent of criticizing opponents (e.g. the Kurds), political parties or ideologies. Prof. Dr. Melek Göregenli, in the article “Hate crimes: whose problem is it?” published by Kaos GL Dergi, describes hate crimes as follows: we can generally define as hate crimes the attacks whose intent is of causing any kind of damage to any person or group of people because of its identity, faith, political beliefs, gender or sexual orientation. In order to better understand the unjust treatment of LGBT individuals in Turkey beacuse of hate speech and hate crimes, we should analyze the historical process of their representation in the media”.
Meeting against homophobia in the media!
Gündem (March 9th)“Feminist Forum, on March 10-11th in Ankara. The program of the International Feminist Forum, coordinated by Kaos GL, is now published. The forum will take place in Ankara between March 10th and 11th. Feminist and LGBT organizations of Turkey have been invited, as well as speakers from Lebanon, France, Sweden and Iran. The Meeting will take place at the Cebeci Campus of Ankara University, in the “Ahmet Taner Kışlalı” House of Arts. The participation to its activities is open to everyone, and during the first day a simultaneous translation service will be provided”.
Samar Habip, who took part to the Meeting as speaker, later gave her contribution to the “Feminist Approaches to Politics in Istanbul” magazine and participated to the activities of the “Bosphorus University Women Research Club”.
Özgür Gündem “Habib underlined the fact that no space is being given in the media to hate crimes and homicides perpetrated against LGBT individuals. Moreover, she maintained that the ongoing criminalization of sexual orientations may cause hate speech against LGBT individuals to spread and State oppression to increase”.
Van Haber (March 27th) The International Feminist Forum organized by Kaos GL has started. During the first day LGBT movements all over the world were taken into examination, while the second day will be dedicated to workshops. The International Feminist Forum hosted in the “Ahmet Taner Kışlalı” House of Arts at the Cebeci Campus of Ankara University has started.
Günlük (March 29th) You could have a purple tale too. The 7th edition of the “Woman to Woman Short Story Contest” will take place this year. The deadline is April 16th, 2012. Pınar Selek will be a honorary jury member for the 7th edition of the contest, whose main theme is “purple”. The prizes will be assigned in May, during the 7th International Meeting Against Homophobia.
The Politics School has been opened by the Social Politics, Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Works Association (SPoD) with the intent of increasing the visibility of gay, bisexual and transsexual individuals. Its opening has been reported by Radikal newspaper.
“The LGBT community opens the first politics school for LGBT individuals on April 2nd. LGBT people started to make their voice heard because of the recent attacks, but an homophobic and transphobic approach to the matter is still common in many countries, Turkey not being an exception. This is reflected also in politics. It is possible to say that barely any of the opinion leaders or politicians took a clear and firm position against the homophobic and transphobic discourse, discrimination or violence. As a result, serious problems for what concerns oppression, violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals, access to justice, socio-economic rights and representativeness in the academic and political fields still exist. That being stated, SpoD gave birth to its Politics School with the intent of increasing the visibility of gay, bisexual and transsexual individuals in the political field as well as making them part of active politics”.
Radikal (March 21st)Orhan Kemal Cengiz wrote a sensitive column article concerning human rights. “The ECHR maintains that leaving hate speech against sexual minorities unpunished is comparable to leaving racism unpunished. Homophobia and racism are intertwined. Homophobia is just like racism and – talking about freedom of expression – it is possible to say that there are some serious problems with the balance of justice, both from the point of view of social conscience and of justice”.
Taraf (March 22nd) “Sword, hate, atrocity! In these days we can hardly breathe, our life spaces are shrinking more and more, and our life conditions are by now truly unbearable. No day passes without a new event, and no new event comes without a new agenda! They maintain they’ll promote democracy in every field, everywhere. That’s not enough, at least for now. “Freedom is spreading”, they say. The new Constitution is being discussed. On the one side people get easily imprisoned, because of the so-called “KCK-operation”. Yes, it’s a tough agenda. So, who could ever dare bothering to think about hate murders, about transsexuals stabbed to death in the streets!”.
Sözcü (March 27th) “The trial against Hamdi Ayri, accused of having killed two years ago in Izmir Esra Yaşar, Ayşe Selen Ayla and the transvestite Mustafa Has, went on yesterday. The Ministry of Family and Social Policies and Siyah Pembe Üçgen association took part to the hearing. The Court Board refused the participation of “We Will Stop Women’s Murders” platform. The Court also decided to delay the hearing to June, as the report on Ayri’s criminal liability had not yet been prepared by the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute. Both “We Will Stop Women’s Murders” platform and Siyah Pembe Üçgen association, together with the families of the victims, protested in front of the Courthouse against the extension of the trial” (similar news have been also reported on the same day by Posta and Sabah newspapers).
News targeting LGBT organizations and individuals, containing hate speech, legitimating violence
Akit (March 5th) Perverts praise TÜSİAD. The convergence of interests between the Turkish Association of Manufacturers and Businessmen (TÜSİAD) and perverted circles is certainly odd. TÜSİAD’s “Constitution for Sexual Freedom” Report is of great importance for associations and platforms establishing sexual degenerations. Such things are praised in Lambda Istanbul and Kaos GL websites, in the sections concerning TÜSİAD’s Constitution Draft proposal. Furkanal Altınok / Ankara
Akit (March 24th) “The uneasiness of status quo supporters concerning 4+4+4. The Draft of Law designed as to put an end to the uninterruptible education system (inherited by February 28th’s coup d’état) is currently being discussed in Parliament. This discomforted the PKK, status quo supporters, some CHP deputies and Gay-Lesbian organizations”.
Akit (March 26th) “PKK's gay bomber. As a result of days-long police investigations concerning the attacks allegedly planned for the celebrations of Newrouz in Bayrampaşa (Istanbul), shocking news concerning the terrorist E.Ş. (codename Musa) emerged. He was caught holding 13 kg of explosive material. This shocking fect reached us clearly, and shows the disgusting side of the organization”.
On this topic Birgün (March 27th) published an article whose title was “Discrimination manifesto, aka Akit”. It criticized Akit, while showing sensitiveness and respect to human rights.
“Akit goes on showing us day by day with its articles how racist and discriminatory it is. As a matter of fact, in its article concerning an alleged PKK bomber no information at all is provided on the bomber’s criminal actions, but his homosexuality is clearly remarked. Akit showed us one more time what discrimination really means. According to that newspaper one’s sexual orientation can be considered as a crime, and non muslims are partners in crime. There is nothing else left to say: Akit is a veritable manifesto for racism and discrimination”.
Akit (March 29th) “Pavey became jury member of the lesbians. The support to Kaos GL, an association establishing sexual degenerations, came from CHP, whose deputy Şafak Pavey from Istanbul will be “honorary” member of the jury of “Woman to Woman Short Story Contest”, concerning lesbian women’s stories. Pavey supports the 7th edition of “Woman to Woman Short Story Contest”, organized by Kaos GL and whose main theme is “purple”. The prizes of such contest will be assigned in May, during the 7th International Meeting Against Homophobia. Kaos GL will also publish a book concerning lesbian women’s relationships. CHP deputy Şafak Pavey said to the lesbians “I’m on your side”, and before the contest she also visited Kaos GL headquarter. Moreover, she declared she supported homosexuals, lesbians and transvetites facing all their problems. In the course of the budgetary discussions at the Parliament she declared “You will not push the homosexual citizens to the lowest levels of society”. While visiting Ankara-based LGBT organizations such as Kaos GL and Pembe Hayat, she explained the perverts what she was doing in order to protect their rights. Pavey also gathered some information concerning problems of LGBT significance, LGBT individuals in the scope of the Draft of Law against discrimination, how the internet filter influences LGBT people and the difficulties homosexual males, transsexuals women and transsexual men have to go through because of military service. While visiting Pembe Hayat association she got informed about the violence policemen systematically use against LGBT individuals, the provisions of Wrongdoings Law, the oppressions against sex workers and hate crimes”. Furkan Altınok / Ankara
Gazetem Ege (March 19th) “Transvestites and transsexuals living in certain parts of Aslancak were evicted as a result of the investigations of Izmir’s Emniyet Directorate. Forcedly evicted, actually. The police did the necessary. They were forced to move from Aslancak as the squads were placed in front of their houses, in accordance with inditimidation policy. Anyway, as Nature teaches us, “nothing is created, nothing is destroyed”. So, where did they go? Most of them now live in Asansör and Halilrıfatpaşa neighbourhoods. They try not to grab people’s attention, nor to create any inconvenience, but they are still working. Many of them apparently moved to Istanbul. We should here really celebrate the success of the police of Izmir. According to them, now thirty/forty transsexuals still remain in our town. In order to prepare Izmir for EXPO2020, getting these last thirty people under control will be extremely useful. According to a rumour I heard from an Emniyet employee, the transvestites hoped EXPO2020 will be held in Izmir. And they ask even more from EXPO2020’s Administrative Board Head Mahmut Özgener. Every tourist coming to Izmir means dollars, euros for them. Cruiseships tourism is a source of income. Cruiseships personnel get some rest thanks to them. As soon as the ship docks at Alsancak port, the counters open. This is one of Izmir’s bleeding wounds. Or, the other side of the medal. If all the sailors will ever come to Izmir, they would certainly remember Izmir’s history, climate, beautiness and unfortunately – unfortunatey, I say – also the transvestites. Maybe they also exchange some info and suggestions about them. As if this were not enough, some of the ones who came to Izmir in order to go to the special fair opened by İzfaş are their customers. Because of these customers transsexuals and transvestites move from Istanbul to Izmir. They even take along with them the İzfaş Fair Calendar. They plan their work according to it. On the one side we struggle as much as we can in order to get EXPO2020 to take place in Izmir. We go on saying Izmir is a port city, a culture city, the city of fairs, but such ignominies happen as well. Izmir must be remembered like this. But wouldn’t it be better if Izmir’s Emniyet Vice Squads could solve this problem as soon as possible?”. Hilmi Çınar
Akit (March 20th)“The homosexual lobby is inside us. Mehmet Dilbaz, among the productive internet dictionary writers, lately experienced the consequences of opposing the gay lobby. He has written more than 15 thousands entries in Ekşisözlük, IHL Sözlük and many other websites, and is now being targeted by someone whose account name is “İmhotep”! He recently showed his support to the Muslim cinema writer Ali Murat Güven by writing the following entry: “Be very tolerant with homosexuality. Say it is necessary to show respect for homosexuals’ choices. Just ignore what Islam says about them, don’t you dare to support Ali Murat Güven who has been struggling with their filthiness for years. Say he’s in the wrong”. He got the complaints of other dictionary supporters, and consequently said: “I’m used to this insults, it happened for years”. Mehmet Dilbaz defended Islam, and he has been thrown out of IHL dictionary because of what he wrote about homosexuals. He stated: “As I said homosexuality is not normal I’m being isolated by the dictionaries circle, and the responsible for this is the homosexual lobby shoved inside us. Nothing hurted me as much as being attacked in this way in the IHL dictionary circle”. The Islamic entries in IHL dictionary and Ekşisözlük are note sincere. Recently ultra-intellectual Islamists sprung up linke mushrooms. A certain Ahmet Hakanlaşma is on my wake. They forget role models such as Tarık Tufan and Sefahattin Yusuf, but they’re wrong” says Dilbaz, and descries the Islamic sözlük.org as follows: “Even in Ekşisözlük there are more objective people”. Its entry with the title: “The homosexuals make their own propaganda from the inside” got twenty-six minuses. Dilbaz also declared: “What’s even worse is the fact I’m being harrassed by the homosexual lobby. They send me private messages saying “You’re opposing the homosexuals, but God willing one of your sons will be homosexual”. The fact that homosexuals can implement such propagandist actions in an Islamic society proves the gravity of the situation”. Fahrettin Dede / İstanbul
Some workers who were going at the building site in the morning reported to the police that they had found a corpse inside a vehicle whose numberplate was 35 AL 9656. Following this report, the police made all the necessary checks. The coprse belonged to Tuğçe Şahin, a 23 years old transsexual. She had died because her head had been hit by a bullet. It has been reported that the police is now analyzing the surrounding surveillance cameras in order to identify the murderer”.
This article (March 31st) has been reported with the following titles. The contents of the articles are full of prejudices and legitimate the death of the victim.
Güneş One bullet for the transvestite
Ekspres The transvestite has been killed
Haber Türk The transvestite inside the car has been shot with one bullet
Sabah The transvestite has been killed in her car
Sözcü One-bullet execution for the transvestite
Yeni asır The transvestite has been shot in the car
One of the most effective ways to criminalize homosexuality is provided by health issues. While reading an article concerning how syphilis is spread we meet with homophobia.
Fortune magazine (March issue) Prof. Dr. Okan Arar maintains: “To conclude, in almost every case syphilis is spread from one person to another as a consequence of a sexual intercourse with a sick person. Moreover kissing, biting and homosexual intercourse are among the spreading ways”.
Haber Türk “The males who wish to donate blood in the US, Canada and the UK have to go through strict controls. Since 1977, if a male donor had had homosexual intercourse then his blood wouldn’t be accepted. The AIDS transmission cases we witnessed the previous year worried Red Cross officials so much so that such a decision was compulsory. According to a new decision coming from UK heterosexuals, lesbians and homosexuals will be allowed to donate blood only after they swear they’ve been in a monogamous sexual relationship in the last ten years”.
An example of good health-themed piece of news:
A fragment of the dialogue between Duygu Sedefoğlu and Soner Erol, taken from Hürriyet:
“So, what’s the role of the parents in the development of their children’s sexual identity? What we define as sexual identity goes beyond the biological gender, as it also encompasses how one feels. I mean, you can be a biological woman and still feel attracted by women. And just in the same way you can be a man from the biological point of view, and yet be attracted by men. We should stress the fact that sexual orientation is not a conscious choice. Is it a problem? It’s not an illness. The only problem is the uneasiness a homosexual individual can feel because of his or her situation. While some so-called reparation therapies exist, no permanent or effective result has evere been achieved. And that’s because homosexuality is not a disorder nor a disease: it is not acknowledged as such since the 1970s, and it is not even present in our diagnostic database. If there’s no solution what can be done, then? You can just support its acceptance as well as a more fruitful sexual and social life. You cannot therapeutically modify one’s sexual orientation.
Cumhuriyet newspaper journalist Bekir Coşkun (March 9th), in his column article “We, the rapists” recounted the horrible adjectives ascribed to journalists in general. And he was quite in the right, but in the end he wrote: “they just have to say we’re homosexuals or pimps”. Coşkun apologized from his twitter account, and Kürşat Kahramanoğlufrom Birgün replied (March 20th). “I thought I would have written a revengeful article on Imam Hatip Schools (IHO), but I first cast a glance at the newspapers. And look what I see! Did the matinée idol, animal rights defendant, poors’ friend, AKP’s nightmare and self-proclaimed Zeki Müren’s talent spotter, the notorious, the great Bekir Coşkun really write what he wrote while criticizing Egemen Bağış? “They just have to say we’re homosexuals or pimps, God forbid…”. Had such a smart journalist really put homosexuals and pimps in the same category? Did he really say in front of millions of people that one of the worst offences ever was being described as “homosexual”, and this in order to criticize the power? He can say whatever he wants in order to support his journalist friends, but doesn’t he know there is no dignity left? After such a gross mistake what difference is left between him and those journalists whose articles are crammed with hate speech against homosexuals? Die-hard homophobia! Thank God Pako is dead, he cannot get to know about this article, otherwise he would have died of shame! A friend of mines’ mother was just wonderful; she passed away last year. Her name was Fatma, and she was from Mesudiye, near Ordu. May she rest in peace! This old lady really had all the swift wit and sagacity of those coming from the Black Sea region, and she used to have some sayings we all loved and wrote down somewhere. Here’s a good fit: “The smartest among them is Bekir the Fool, and he’s a gallows bird”! And that gallows is the newspaper Cumhuriyet. This is not Cumhuriyet’s first criminal record I know of. Years ago, when they published a conversation with Doğu Perinçek (where she was just a perfect homophobe against Kaos), Cumhuriyet did not grant anyone the right to reply, so I was forced to quarrel from London, you see! Bekir Coşkun and Cumhuriyet must apologize immediately. They should publicly make clear that their editorial policy will not allow homophobic stances anymore. Cumhuriyet, whose editorial board does not include even one homosexual, should publish this correction article just where it published Mr. Coşkun’s (aka the opposition’s alleged pillar’s) one. The price for publishing this article one more time on Cumhuriyet is of ten thousands Turkish liras. That’s just how much he should give Kaos as a compensation!”
Turkish Time magazine described as “dramatic” the reason why firms changed their discriminatory approach to homosexuality, as they didn’t consider discrimination as a human rights issue, but rather considered LGBT employees as a useful “pink capital”.
Turkish Time magazine (March issue) “Rainbow revolution in the firms. While positive discrimination and the increasing number of leadership positions for women in the firms is still object of discussion, the number of LGBT-friendly firms all over the world is increasing. The approach of the world’s main companies towards homosexuality changed radically in the last ten years. In 86% of Fortune 500’s companies discrimination against homosexuals is forbidden, while the percentage of companies prohibiting discrimination against transsexuals is 50%. The researches underline the advantages of gay-friendliness both from the point of view of human resources and success in the LGBT market”.
Let’s now cast a glance at culture and arts news. The fact that Feyza Hepçilingirler could say in Cumhuriyet’s book supplement (March 1st) that homosexuality could be described “not loudly, not disgustingly” actually demonstrates a stereotypization.
Cumhuriyet kitap, Turkish daily by Feyza Hepçilingirler
“With his second book “Sad as a wig”, Yalçın Tosun presents a coloured and rich short story environment, with a varied scenario, flavoured by its original similitudes in the narration. Without shouting loud nor depicting as disgusting the homosexual tendencies, he sets the door for a different, strange world. Moreover, he shows how it can be described by touching the reader at the deepest”.
The identity of LGBT individuals is made known especially in the case they are involved in criminal events. We can notice during the month of March many examples of news which criminalize homosexuality and discriminate other groups of people.
Şok “There’s no more morality in Turkey; uncanny things are happening! The ultimate disgust: a lesbian relationship with a student. A lawsuit has been filed against E.C., a 32 years old physical education teacher at a high school in Kağıthane, as she apparently had sexual intercourse at school with B.Y., a 17 years old student”. (This piece of news has also been reported by Takvim, Haber Türk, Yenigün, Vatan, Sabah and Hürriyet. Part of the images accompanying the article had stereotyped pornographic content).
Takvim (March 16th) “21 years of detention to the lesbian! A lawsuit has been filed against E.C., a 32 years old physical education teacher at a high school in Kağıthane (Istanbul), as she apparently had sexual intercourse at school with B.Y., a 16 years old student.”
Vatan (March 1st) “The State has been mobilized because of the red light website. A transvestites’ website on the net made State institutions move. The Presidency for Telecommunications and Communications sued the website “www.travestiservisi.com” at the Başsavcılık (Attorney generalship) of Ankara. Citizen Mehmet Polat applied at the Petitions Committee of the Parliament asking for an inspection of some websites (among whom is also the above-mentioned one) in order to stop unjust profits and contain the process of erosion of morality. The committee acted following up the petition, and asked for further information from the BTK (Information Technologies and Communications Institution). The note the BTK sent the Committee stressed the fact that a transvestites’ website was involved”.
Haber Türk (March 3rd) “The transsexual Padge Victoria Windslowe (aged 42, nicknamed “Dark Lady”) has been arrested in a hotel located in the County of Philadelphia (US) as she caused the death of the English student Claudia Aderotimi by injecting fake silicone in her buttocks”.
Şok “He wanted to die because of his transsexual lover. After being left by his transsexual lover, he wanted to solve his problems by trying to throw himself from the roof. 27 years old A.B., irate because his transsexual partner left him, wanted to throw himself from the roof of a seven-storey building”.
Milliyet Ege “The transvestite love made him go to the roof”.
Vatan, Haber Türk, Yurt, Kocaeli (local) “A fine of 169 Turkish liras to hitchhikers for prostitution at TEM. The Governorate of Kocaeli published a circular aimed at the drivers, stating that hitchhiker-prostitute women, transvestites and their customers will be fined because they hinder the regular traffic”.
Sabah “The address of the crime: the industrial plants in disuse located at Iskitler, which have become the centre of prostitution and drug dealing markets. Some of the data in the report are really shocking. In 2011 due provisions have been taken for 15 workplaces. 8 workplaces located at Iskitler were in fact gambling places. After the demolition of the brothels at Bentderesi, Iskitler became the centre of prostitution. In the first three months of the year provisions have been taken against 5,270 prostitutes and transvestites”.
Şok (March 22nd) “A research made in China has shown unbelievable truths! According to the results of a scientific research, 16 millions of Chinese women are married to gay men! Professor Zhang Beichuan, working at Quingdao, stated that 16 millions of Chinese women could in fact be married to gay men. This frightening truth, emerging from the research made by the professor, expert on AIDS and HIV-related issues…”
Hürriyet Eskişehir (March 8th) “The tribunal issued the arrest warrant for 66 years old Kemal İleri, a retired tailor who killed 68 years old Münür Çan in his workplace because of the rumours he continued to make about the killer’s homosexuality”.
Çorum Haber “The structure of AKP is like a transvestite. Uzun, member of the MHP central direction committee, stated the followings: “AKP is essentially a movement of national vision and great East. It’s an essence coming from there and protecting fighting among its ranks. Anyway, today this essence made contractors out of fighters. It has changed, it has come to a shift”…”
Tek Yıldız “Sami Uzun, member of the MHP central direction committee, maintained that AKP was a “transvestite”, and that its combatant spirit has become a spirit of contractors”.
If we are to look at the magazine news, the words more often used when talking about the sexual orientation of famous people are “claim” and “confession”. Here are some examples of magazine news taken from March issues. By using such words, a criminalization of homosexuality is again present.
Haber Türk “If they say I’m gay that’s not a problem! George Clooney, who is considered by some as gay, has been interviewed by a magazine for homosexuals: “I don’t confirm nor prove wrong the fact I’m gay. Saying publicly ’That’s a lie’ would be an injustice for my homosexual friends”. Hollywood star George Clooney openly discussed such years-long topics for the first time”.
Sabah “I’m gay, or maybe not. What’s the difference anyway? The American actor George Clooney spoke about his sexual preferences for the first time. Clooney, who was interviewed by The Advocate, a LGBT magazine published in the US, said ‘I’m gay, or maybe not. What’s the difference, anyway? I’ve many gay friends, and we understand each other very well’”.
Milliyet Cadde “George Clooney, though accompanied by women each one more beautiful than the other, replied to the rumours claiming he’s gay by saying ‘I don’t care. I don’t confirm nor prove this wrong, as such an answer would be very impolite to my homosexual friends’”.
Cosmopolitan “Jonathan Knight. Birth date: November 29th, 1968. The oldest member of the group, and at the same time the reason for the dissolution of New Kids On The Block. Firstly because after his separation from the crew those who remained tried to go on along his lines but in the end they got lost. Knight, after the dissolution of the group, worked in the field of real estate. He confessed that he suffered from panic attacks and underwent treatments. Moreover, he admitted he was gay in the reportage published by the magazine January”.
The lesbian identity is often showed in the press as a sexual object, and particularly in the newspaper Şok. One of the main causes for the invisibility of homosexual women is the process of sexual objectification of their identity. This is often remarkable in the media.
Şok “I became the slave of my lesbian lover! A reader shares her problems with an English newspaper: ‘I’m in a relationship with a woman I met at work, but she behaves with me as if I were something dirty. I’m twenty, and she’s in her forties…”.
How are the global developments reflected in the Turkish media? Here we see some example news dealing with marriage, retirement homes and other social services for homosexual individuals. Bursa Haber, Gazetem Ege, Şok, Yeni Akit, Yenigün İzmir and Yurt published the news as they were taken from the foreign news agencies.
Bursa Haber “The first fully-equipped retirement house for homosexuals has been opened in New York. Hundreds of people took part yesterday to the opening ceremony of the SAGE Progressive retirement house in Chelsea, Manhattan. It has been reported that the centre will host sport and computer lessons and health seminaries, and it will organize cultural trips”.
Akit “The first fully-equipped retirement house for homosexuals has been opened in New York. Hundreds of people took part yesterday to the opening ceremony of the SAGE Progressive retirement house in Chelsea, Manhattan. The centre will be jointly run by the Department of Elder Affairs and SAGE”.
The Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko made a harsh statement last week towards the EU leaders, who increased the sanctions against his government. The German Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle described him as “Europe’s last dictator”. Lukashenko replied: “Being a dictator is better than being a homosexual”.
According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the Council of Europe which met last week in order to discuss Lukashenko’s statements also added the names of twenty-one justice and police officials to the list of two hundred Belarusian State officials who are already denied the permit to travel in the EU countries.
Minister Guido Westerwelle’s reply was not late. He said he will continue making all possible efforts in order to promote democracy and human rights in Belarus. This piece of news has been reported by Akşam, Anayurt, Birgün, Milliyet, Özgür Gündem, Posta, Sabah, Star, Taraf, Vatan, Akit and Yeni Çağ.
The American publisher Archie Comics has published for the first time in its seventy-three years of existence an issue of “Life with Archie” (no. 16) in which a homosexual marriage takes place. Kaos GL website reported this piece of news on January. The sale has been a smash hit, but the American Family League protested against it. Akşam, Birgün and Radikal reported the piece of news in a sensitive way.
Akşam “The new issue of Archie is focused on homosexual marriage, and found its place on the shelves despite the opposition coming from the conservatives. The new issue of the 70 years old comic strip deals with the marriage of Kevin Keller, the first gay character in the story. As soon as it was being sold the American Family League asked to interrupt the sales. John Goldwater, one of the comic strip’s founders, said he unconditionally supported the work that had been done”.
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