May 17, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), has been celebrated with the largest participation ever in the Turkish capital. This year’s slogan “We are marching for freedom and love” attracted thousands under rainbow flags, marking the end of the 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting organized by Kaos GL Association.
[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org[/box]
In dedication to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, leading Turkish LGBTI advocates KAOS GL held their annual ‘anti-homophobia meeting’.
The Kaos GL’s 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting in dedication of May 17 focused on queer pedagogy, collective crimes, discrimination in sports and experiences of women story authors:
At the end of the panels, activists met at Ankara University’s Cebeci Campus, which is often targeted by Islamist daily Vahdet for its “collaboration with perverts”. Academics, activists, students, workers and union members chanted slogans such as “love and freedom, away from hatred”, “Gays will not shut up”, “The world would turn upside down, if trans people were free” together with a queered version of a famous Kurdish feminist slogan “women, life, freedom”.
The march ended in Sakarya Square with a press release condemning the military coup in 1980, following the recent death of coup leader Kenan Evren, which resulted in violence against many who do not conform to heteronormative expectations.
Then music took over. Firstly, feminist singer Gulay was on stage and sang songs she wrote against patriarchy. After her, the Compiled Band composed of LGBTI activists sang folk songs. Finally, The Group Arin sang Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic songs, which attracted many passersby and stirred up the crowd for famous folk dance halay.
The full program can be accessed on KAOS’ website
The meeting, which has occurred every year since 2006 is a place for advocates and activists to come together within the LGBT community for a weekend of meetings, workshops and activities.
On Friday, May 15, representatives of the Swedish, the Dutch and British Embassies in Istanbul met with LİSTAG, a group of family and friends of LGBTI people in Turkey to celebrate IDAHOT.