Explaining that the party was looking for compromise in the creation of a new Constitution, he said that many people and organisations had approached the party with suggestions.
"They are after something else"
He showed several booklets of organisations containing suggestions for a new constitution before showing a rainbow coloured postcard from the Platform for Rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transsexual People (LGBTT) which also contained such suggestions. The MP said, “They are demanding gender equality. They are after something else.”
The fact that the distinguished Kuzu was able to say “They are after something else” shows very clearly how important our demand for the addition of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into the constitutional article on equality is.
Kuzu, who is not even able to say our name or call us LGBTT citizens, who has ignored our efforts of creating organisations to struggle for human rights, can say “They are not discriminated against” while continuing his discrimination.
Ignoring people, allowing others to ignore them, and behaving towards someone in such a way because they are part of a certain group is clearly discrimination.
Danger of such suggestive utterances
When an MP who is also the representative of “them” and who has sworn an oath to work in our name can say “They are after something else”, he is imagining that “they” have ulterior motives, namely that they are trying to stir trouble in Turkey.
Kuzu is thus envisaging that giving us rights will take Turkey into darkness; his suggestive utterance leaves it up to the viewers’ creativity or conscience to imagine the rest.
So what would happen if one day a “citizen” who watched TV and thought like Kuzu that “they are after something else” decided to get rid of us before we could split up Turkey’s unity or “threaten the Turkish family and general morals?”
Two murders last year
Honourable Kuzu, however much you act the three monkeys, last year we all watched two murders: that of Ahmet Yıldız (a 26-year-old university student in Istanbul) and of Dilek İnce (a witness in a case in Ankara against attackers on transvestites and transsexuals). They were shot dead.
Please do not expect us to believe that those shooting them were the only people responsible for their deaths.
By calling LGBTT individuals “they”, insinuating that “they are not human”, you have legitimised discrimination and hatred towards LGBTT individuals.
The murders of Yıldız and İnce were carried out with exactly such a mentality of “they”. The murderers forgot that Yıldız and İnce were humans with dreams, hopes and expectations.
For the murderers, our two friends were not humans, but “they”.
There are several common points between your statement and those murders:
For instance, these murderers do not wnat to see homosexuals or transsexuals in their lives, families, work places or streets. Just like you…You too want to ignore the homosexuals among your constituents, you do not even want to receive a postcard with the demands of homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals.
The fact that you want to ignore “them” means that we are deprived of rights, that the state does not protect our human rights, that others who do not want to see “them” kill “us”, that we are unemployed, forced into sex work, deprived of education and the right to work.
Honourable Kuzu, is this not discrimination? Will your “heterosexual civilian suggestions for the constitution” protect “them” from discrimination and hate crimes?
Reports document discrimination
In 2007 and 2008, the LGBTT Rights Platform published two reports in which it shares just a minute percentage of the discriminatory events experienced by LGBTT individuals. Some questions asked by the reports are:
- Why are LGBTT individuals dismissed from work?
- Why are they prevented from accessing education?
- Why can they not go to the police station or to court when they are victims of violence?
- Why does the police fine every transvestite and transsexual “citizen” they see in the street 125 TL under the Misdemeanour Law?
- Why is not even an advisor of any MP in parliament transsexual?
As an MP, did you examine the reports on human rights for LGBTT individuals that we sent to you before you said “They are after something else”?
Honourable Kuzu, all we want is for you to take the “civilian” constitution which you prepared with your government and not, as you claim, taking into account the suggestions of NGOs, in particular the article again shaped by you and your government, Article 10 on equality, and add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity”. That is all we are after.
* Umut Güner is a member of the Kaos GL magazine publishing committee ([email protected]).
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