LGBT community in Turkey
The recent suicide of a transgender woman in Istanbul sheds light on the struggles faced by the group in the metropolitan city. Hailing from a conservative central Turkey province, the transgender woman faced threats of violence from her roommates to the point where she didn't feel safe in her Istanbul home.
A pro-government women's rights organization has voiced support to the Istanbul Convention, which aims to combat violence against women and from which the Turkish government seeks to withdraw. In its statement, KADEM responded to widely-known false facts about the convention, especially on it including "LGBT propaganda," saying that it doesn't promote homosexuality.
An Ankara court has reversed a ban on a gay pride march that was imposed by ODTÜ rectorate in May 2019. The court said that the rectorate's decision had no legal basis as the all-embracing ban enacted by the Ankara Governor's Office in 2017 had been already lifted.
Netflix has refuted claims that it will end its operations in Turkey. "We're proud of the talented individuals that we're working with. We're very excited for our projects that are currently at the process of production and that will begin shooting soon," Netflix said. "We look forward to share these stories with our members all around the world," it added.
A recent report revealed that some 30 percent of rights violations against queers in southern Turkey in 2019. The same report by non-governmental organization Mersin LGBTI 7 Color Association revealed a total of 132 queer rights' violations.
Turkey defended a homophobic tweet by the head of the Turkish Red Crescent, describing him as a victim of "LGBT propaganda." Fahrettin Altun, Turkish presidency's communications director, said on Twitter that "LGBT propaganda poses a grave threat to freedom of speech," adding that the IFRC "became complicit in that attack by targeting" Kerem Kınık.
YouTube has censored the live broadcasting of annual "Genetically Modified Tomato Awards" Ceremony which was held by Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week Committee. The nominees are determined by an open call on social media each year. The awards detect and “reward” the LGBTI+phobic speeches and actions.
Istanbul's 28th LGBTI+ Pride week started on June 22 with a week-long schedule, entirely planned online. After having been banned for the past five years, the Pride march will also be carried out digitally this year. The theme of the Pride week is "Where am I?" focusing on safe spaces for queers during the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration.
French sporting goods brand Decathlon was threatened with a boycott by some customers because of their social media post supporting Pride Month. The brand said they were "proud of" their stance of inclusivity and that they were against all forms of discrimination.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that the government will change in the next elections since people will hand power to those advocating democracy. "The people are seeing that our beautiful country is not being governed properly and that we're heading downhill like a truck with no brakes. They also know that the only way to get rid of this course depends on their choice in the next elections," he said.
Turkish prosecutors have said they have not found any reason to start an investigation into Diyanet head Ali Erbaş over his comment that "homosexuality causes disease." The prosecutors' decision came as Amnesty International called on the Turkish gov't to take urgent action to counter the increasing number of discriminatory statements and policies by state officials against LGBTI people.
A total of 50 bars have released a statement to protest President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's planned shift in the bars' internal election system, saying that the proposed changes are "antidemocratic." "Preparing a draft bill via excluding the lawyers and bars is not just, rightful and appropriate, when they should be the ones consulted on the issue," the statement released on May 10 read.
Chamber of engineers and architects slams Erdoğan’s plan to change professional bodies’ election system
The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) has slammed President Erdoğan over his plan to change the election system of professional bodies, mainly bar associations and medical chambers. TMMOB chief Emin Koramaz said in a statement on May 5 that Erdoğan wants to “make professional bodies nonfunctional and control them through the means of ‘a legal regulation.’”
In remarks targeting LGBTI individuals, a Turkish academic has said that activists' referring to the Istanbul Convention's 3rd Article on sexual orientation to promote LGBTI rights is “the exploitation of the law.” “There is no obstacle for LGBT activists to be designated as terror organization in one day," Emir Kaya said.
Gov’t plans to change bars’ election system amid rift over top religious official’s homophobic remarks
The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) is planning to change the election system of bars amid a recent rift between the government and the bars over Diyanet head Ali Erbaş's homophobic remarks. One of the changes sought by the AKP is the election of bars' administration via proportional representation. The government also seeks to decrease the effectiveness of bars with a high number of lawyers, such as Ankara and Istanbul, in the Turkish Bar Associations elections.