Category Archives: PRESS

Press Statement From the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee

#Yürüyoruz #AramızdaNeVar? #2017OnurHaftası

Our LGBTI+ Pride March that we miss celebrating, that we were going to celebrate for the 15th time today, has been banned by the Istanbul Governor’s office once again.

As the 25th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee, we notified the Governor’s office about the time and place of our march, and requested a meeting 20 days ago, however, we have not received a response to our inquiry. The Governor’s office made a statement a day before our march, preventing our right to object, and announced that they banned our march, taking away our most democratic right.

It has been long known by all that Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week is celebrated in Turkey for the last 25 years during the last week of June with a Pride March taking place on the last Sunday of June [since 2003]. Making a press statements is a right, protesting is a right, organizing, objecting and resisting are rights; they cannot be subjected to permission.

The reasons listed on the Governor’s ban statement are the very reasons why we march. Yes, the call we made, “evidently, received very serious reactions from different segments of society,” however, the true reason for the reactions towards a march that took place in peace for 12 years is hate. The lynch and threats posed by the aforementioned factions of society are not “serious reactions,” they are public-offense. The different sectors of society have reacted, yet society itself has been waiting for long to attend this march. Istanbul Governor’s office has shown that they stand by perpetrators and not society.

The Governor’s office has banned our march with the excuse to “protect the safety of the citizens, the participants in particular, along with tourists visiting the area.” Our security cannot be provided by imprisoning us behind walls, asking us to hide, preventing us from organizing and being visible, and encouraging the ones who are threatening us. Our security will be provided by showing how strong, how crowded, how brave we are. Our security will be provided by protecting the rights of all humans, without discrimination, and protecting social peace. Our security will be provided by recognizing us in the constitution, by securing justice, by equality and freedom. Our security will be provided in a country where we can have LGBTI+ Pride March.

We are not afraid, we are here, we are not going to change. You are afraid, you are going to change, you are going to get used to it. We painted this street in rainbow for 12 years, said the freedoms word, showed the beauty of living and marching together to the whole world. We are here again, this time to show we will fight darkness for our pride.

We are the ones who declared the revolution of love and gender identity. We are the ones who are excluded, ignored, and yet resilient. We are not alone, we are not wrong, and not giving up by any means. Governors, governments, states change, we stay. These threats, bans, pressures will not stops us! We miss our march, we are not giving up on our march. We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week, and we are proud. Be furious, you!

–25th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee

LGBTI+ stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Plus. Last year, Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week added the “+” to the end. Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee explains adding the “+” after the initial for Intersex in the past years due to the fact that “we say all the combinations in the rainbow exist in our movement and we aim to socialize people with the idea of not attributing a fixed identity to anyone by judging from the outside.”

Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Committee statement on ban: We are marching!

Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week has been organized since 1993, ending with a Pride March on Istiklal Avenue since 2003. It has been announced via the Istanbul Governor’s Office’s website that the would-be 15th annual Pride March will not be allowed. To be able to hold demonstrations and marches is one of the most basic human rights concerning the freedom of expression and has been put under protection by both the constitution and international treaties. This ban is in violation not only of the legal precedents of the European Court of Human Rights, but also of international treaties, legislations in the domestic law and the constitution.

In the statement made by the governor’s office, it has been declared that according to the the Law No: 2911, the application for the event has not been done properly. As the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee we have made a written application on June 5, 2017 and thus requested a meeting with the Istanbul Governor’s Office. Furthermore, with the application, the notification concerning the exact dates of the Pride Week and March and the planned location of the march to take place has been submitted.

The statement made by the governorship clearly neglects the fact that LGBTI+’s are a part of this society with their comment: “… it’s also seen that there are very serious reactions against this call by different segments of society…” Furthermore the statement also legitimizes groups or individuals who make threats and commit hate crimes by suggesting that there are “sensitivities.”

The comments that say “the safety of tourists and public order” are mere attempts to alter the perception of our peaceful march with the participation of thousands of people from different countries. We are hoping that the governorship would renounce the statement and fulfill all the responsibilities of the state including safety and security measures, and without attacking, would ensure the space needed for us to actualize our annual 15th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March on June 25 to vocalize our claims in unity, prudence and attention to human rights in a peace-loving and safety.

We would like to underline once more that we are not in a particular place in a particular city but we are everywhere and we do not want our voice to be heard just for one day but we want to speak everyday. Thus we are saying once more: “Get Used to It: We are Here and We are NOT leaving!”

Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee

25th Istanbul Pride Week is waiting for your donations!

Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week celebrates its 25th anniversary!

Istanbul Pride Week will take place this year between 19-25 June 2017. Last year we reacted to the ban on our march by dispersing into every corner of Istanbul with glitter, confetti and rainbow flags, reading our press statements. We raised our voice not only on Istiklal Street but on every place and every space possible to make ourselves to be heard. We are not giving up on the streets, we are not letting any kind of fear to scare us away. We are here, we are not leaving, get used to it!

We are waiting for your donations to carry out this week-long organisation with a collective solidarity. So do not forget to visit our Indiegogo campaign please!

We dispersed on every street for the 14th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March!

On Sunday, 26 June we “dispersed” everywhere on Istiklal Avenue against the Istanbul Governor’s Office’s ban on 19 June Trans Pride March and Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March and press statement. Our press statement was read on numerous streets, our rainbow flag hung on buildings, the streets undulating. Among those who read our press statement was also Terry Reintke, Member of European Parliament.

From time to time, the police intervened on our friends dispersed around various corners of Istiklal Avenue with tear gas and detained 29 people. All of our friends who were detained have been released.

You can watch the press statement read throughout the day here.

Full text of the press release:

“Make noise, shout, and scream wherever you are, wherever you are organized! #wedisperse #dağılıyoruz”

“The reason why we are reading this press statement today is because the 14th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March has been banned.”

“Pride Marches are among the biggest, multi-voiced, and mass demonstrations that this country has witnessed. In our marches, we stand up to this dark time that is our share in world history, with our love and desire. We hold those who seize our labor accountable, we take our destiny into our hands, we dream our own future. We defend peace instead of war, courage instead of fear, and all who are oppressed. We show that a different world, sexuality, body, and life is possible. Those who banned our march used “society’s sensitivities” as an excuse. But what’s being guarded is not society’s but the government’s sensitivities. Society is none other than us. What’s being banned is our attempt to voice our longing to exist as proud people of this world, our demands, peace, justice, and equality. Banning our march is an unsuccessful attempt to silence our voices.”

“Unsuccessful because the pride of our existence grows with every oppression. We proudly own all the insults they throw at us to hurt us. We are expanding our limited spaces with solidarity. We are leading a revolution on every street we walk, on every work day, every house, every love and every act of lovemaking. We are killed and reborn in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antep, Diyarbakir, Mexico, Bangladesh, and Orlando. We will always exist, shout out our existence, and always be proud of our existence.”

“We are not marching today but we just started marching [forwards]. The sound of our slogans is in our ears, the colors of the rainbow are with us, the scent of freedom is in our noses. We are on this path to demand more than tolerance and permits. We are continually strengthening our resistance everywhere to demand that our personal, political, and social rights are guaranteed; that sexual orientation and gender identity are included in the constitution; and that the reality of the LGBTI+ movement as a political participant is recognized.”

“We are dispersing, we are stronger, bigger, and louder. They are right to be afraid of us because we are uniting, growing, and marching.”

Translation: LGBTI News Turkey

For videos:

2016 Istanbul Pride Week Schedule



English Program PDF


 Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Exhibition: nerdeen nereye 

Opening 20 June 2016, Monday 19:00 Place: Boysan’ın Evi 

Exhibiton can be visited between 20-26 June, from 13:00 to 18:30

Address: Cumhuriyet Cad. Üftade Sk. Latif Apartmani No: 10/3 Harbiye



Workshop: Self-Defense Against Homo-Transphobic Assaults

Time: 14:00 – 16:00   Place: İnfial


As LGBTI+ individuals, we must be on constant alert against the mechanis-

ms and means of social violence we encounter at any moment in our soci-

al and individual lives and we must develop our self-defense. Self-defense

requires mental and physical practical effort to swiftly and effectively

fight the oppressive apparatus that directs its violence to us. First, at an

individual level, we must empower ourselves by discovering and working

on techniques that enable us to stand tall in the face of assaults and to

thwart them. Then we can generalize/broaden our self-defense by sharing

our strength, experience and skills with others around us.


Panel: Conscientious Objection as an Act of Protest

Time: 15:00 – 17:00   Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu 


Moderation: İrem Az


Ercan Jan Aktaş:

Men’s conscientious objection demands challenge not only the political

and ideological strategies of nation-states forcing them to use violence

but also the masculine violence pervasive in male dominant domains

such as the Market and the Family. Compulsory military service is not only

about “national defense” but it is also a practice that regulates the terms

of citizenship between men, women and the state. First class citizenship

is bestowed on men through military service, “the most sacred duty”.

Gökhan Soysal:

Conscientious objection is a human right placed under protection by in-

ternational human rights organizations and regarded in the context of

anti-war moral values, religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Both

the agreements undersigned by the Turkish State and particularly, the

decisions of the European Human Rights Court are binding. No matter

how reluctant the state is to recognize this right, it is also evident that it

is unable to fully resort to its repressive apparatus unlike in the past. This

situation will be assessed in the paper.


Workshop: Debating Sexual Violence in Lubunca    

Time: 17:00 – 19:00   Place: Feminist Mekan

Facilitator:  Association to Combat Sexual Violence

Those who resist the trauma experienced in the wake of sexual violen-

ce, those who have been subject to sexual violence, those who have

witnessed a form of sexual violence…We need a language that we can

all use and that can empower us. Do LGBTI+ individuals use concepts of

sexual violence in Lubunca (queer dialect/argot used in Turkey)? Does our

sex positive language allow us to express ourselves when we have been

subjected to sexual violence? We do not know how to address people who

have been subjected to sexual violence and have resisted it? These qu-

estions have created the need to debate sexual violence at a conceptual

level. Let’s talk!


Film Screening: “Mutants: Punk Porn Feminism”

Time: 17:00 – 19:00  Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu

Documentary – 2009 – France  85′ Director: Virginie Despentes

Made up of about twenty interviews filmed in the United States, France and Espagne, and documents from the archives about the political action of sex workers, queer activists and performances of another kind, ‘Mutantes: Punk Porn Feminism’ is a documentary by writer-director Virginie Despentes (‘Fuck Me’, ‘King Kong Theory’), which gives the floor to pro-sex activists and follows the evolution of the movement from the 80s to the present. Despentes works this time with the words or images of the women who inspired her work -Annie Sprinkle, Lydia Lunch, Candida Royalle-, those with whom she worked or who influenced her directly -Coralie Trinh Thi, Catherine Breillat, Nina Roberts, Paul B. Preciado- and those whose work she appreciates -Post Op, Emilie Jouvet, Maria Llopis.


Panel: University LGBTI+ Meeting and Cocktail 

Time: 19:00 – 21:00   Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu 

Presentation: Görkem Ulumeriç


Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week, LGBTI+ student clubs are proud to invite LGBTI+

students to a presentation about gender-neutral bathrooms, dormitories

and dressing rooms, peer bullying, safe spaces and campus activism. The

presentation will be followed by a cocktail.


* Participation is limited to university students.

Please register at


Workshop: “Concepts of Intimacy and Sincerity” in the Context of “Queer Body” Studies (I)

Time: 20:00 – 22:30    Place: Çatı Dans

Facilitator: Ufuk Şenel


This workshop, scheduled for approximately three hours a day on two

days, is an exploration focusing on the body through the concepts of

intimacy and sincerity. What does queerness provide to us as we relate to

each other, to the world and to others? How do our feelings of intimacy

and sincerity get constructed/ deconstructed within a queer life? These

are some of the questions we will pursue in this workshop where the goal

is to begin from improvised practices and to help participants gain a new

perspective and dynamic on how they relate to their own world, selves,

the world and others.



Workshop: Consensus as a Form of Organizing and Decision-Making Process Among Equals 

Time: 15:00 – 18:00   Place: SALT Galata

Facilitator: Center of Nonviolence

In meetings among equals decisions are made with the shared responsibility

of all participants, therefore it is important how decisions are

made and implemented and that all participate equally in the decision-

making process for groups engaged in rights struggles. As a form of

decision-making, the consensus decision-making model aims at the equal

participation of all participants, the equal distribution of power within

the group, the productive and optimal use of time and other resources.

In this Pride Week, we would like to explore CONSENSUS as a model that

enables more productive meetings and decisions on the context of our

theme “We Unite”.


* The workshop is open to all, whether they are activists or not.

The workshop will last at least 3 hours


Workshop: Mask Workshop (I) 

Time: 17:00   Place: TAK 

Facilitator: Oğuz Güdek (Mask & March)


We are inviting all to our workshop to paint in colors not only the streets

and the squares, but also our bodies, and to make masks which we will

wear not in order to hide ourselves, but to be visible and to use our freedom

of expression.

Materials provided: Cardboard, paper, textile materials, scrap materials,

acrylic paint and coloring materials, glue. Participants can bring their own

additional scrap materials, visual materials and prints for collage techniques.

The activity will last 12 hours over two days.


* Participation is limited to 30 people.

Please register at

Workshop: The Queer’s Nightlife Test



Workshop: The Queer’s Nightlife Test

Time: 17:00 – 19:00   Place: LeylaAlt 


When did the şemmamme (folk dance) enter our nightlife and party entertainment?

Why do we love to dance the halay (folkloric line dance) so

much? How are queers lying on the ground singing “Only God and I know”

made to belly dance? Our musical tastes from Tiësto to Bergen? What did we

like about our favorite party? The music? The space? Or else the opportunity

to find a hook up? What does the LGBT-friendly concept express for us? Are

we using the spaces or are they using us?


Panel: Why the LGBTI+ Peace Initiative

 Time: 17:00 – 19:00   Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu 


Moderator: Esra Ferit

Speakers: İrem Güven, Zelal Demir, Cihan Erdal


The basis of Life: Oxygen and Peace!

The critical importance of peace is more evident in these days we are

going through. We have gathered together as organized and unorganized

LGBTI+ activists to shout out this need everywhere. We want to discuss

together why we exist and the path we have traveled in this process and

what more we can do. We will be stronger if you join us.


Workshop: Pink Tezkere!

 Time: 18:30 – 20:30   Place: SALT Galata

Those who are deemed men are called by the authorities to do compulsory

military service in Turkey when the time comes. Yet it is our right

not to fulfil this service! There is a legal procedure for pink tezkere (military

discharge paper)! Can I get a pink discharge paper? What procedure

should I follow to acquire pink discharge paper? What aspects should I

pay attention to in the process? How does a pink discharge paper affect

my social and work life? Come join our workshop to collectively reflect on

these questions!


Reader’s Theater: OGRES 

Time: 19:15   Place: Fransiz Kültür Merkezi (French Cultural Center)

Author: Yann Verburgh, Translator: Ayberk Erkay

Director: biriken (Melis Tezkan, Okan Urun)

Actors: Alican Yücesoy, Canan Atalay, Defne Halman, Halil Babür,Okan Urun


As part of Pride Week, “biriken” Collective is performing Yann Verburgh’s

Ogres as a reader’s theater at the French Cultural Center. The play traces

the story of Benjamin who is tortured in a forest in Normandy and left to

die while simultaneously juxtaposing the perspectives of victims, attackers,

families and witnesses of intolerable violence in 14 different countries.

The only thing that cannot be buried and destroyed under the bodies

of the wounded in the midst of violence, torture, incoherence are the love,

hope and courage of these characters across the world. The performance

will be followed by a conversation with the play’s author Yann Verburgh.


* Pre-registration is required for events at the French Cultural Center.

To register:


Workshop: The Role and Responsibility of Mental Health Care Workers in Social İnteraction in the Aftermath of the Removal of Homosexuality from the Category of Disease

Time: 19:30 – 21:00     Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room) 

Moderators: Evren Evrim Önal, Özge Güdül

Speakers: Eser Sandikçi, Pinar Önen, Seven Kaptan, Umut Şah


Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of

Mental Disorders in 1973 and from the disease criteria of the World Health

Organization on May 17, 1990. The confusion persists, however, in the case

of transsexuality. Despite the fact that the discourse of cure was gradually

abandoned from late 1960s onwards, and homosexuality is officially no

longer a disease since 1973, transsexuality continues to be associated

with disease, sin and crime in social perception and life. Today the struggle

continues against the intense discrimination, hate speech and hate

crimes targeting LGBTI+ people. Most importantly, although without an

official basis, some mental health workers are seeking to exploit the cure

discourse for profit. Therefore during this Pride Week, we would like to

explore how we can intervene as mental health care students and workers

not only in society but also specifically in the field of mental health and

our responsibilities.


Workshop: “Concepts of Intimacy and Sincerity” in the Context of “QUEER BODY” STUDIES (II)

Time: 20:00 – 22:30    Place: Çatı Dans

Facilitator: Ufuk Şenel


This workshop, scheduled for approximately three hours a day on two

days, is an exploration focusing on the body through the concepts of

intimacy and sincerity. What does queerness provide to us as we relate to

each other, to the world and to others? How do our feelings of intimacy

and sincerity get constructed/ deconstructed within a queer life? These

are some of the questions we will pursue in this workshop where the goal

is to begin from improvised practices and to help participants gain a new

perspective and dynamic on how they relate to their own world, selves,

the world and others.


Workshop: Finding Hook-ups

 Time: 21:00 – 22:00    Place: Will be announced via email

The activity which we first organized last year is back this year due to koli

(hook-up, casual sexual partner in Lubunca) intensity. More daring, more

closed and more with koli. We texted “SLM” (“Hey”) through the app we

use to find a partner we like. Okay, what next? How to prepare until they

arrive? Where to go for coffee? How to invite them home? All and more will

be found in this practical workshop.


* Participation is limited, please register at if

you wish to participate. Location will be announced via email to participants.




Workshop: Physical Deepening: What Kind of Geography Is My Body?

Time: 15:00 – 17:00    Place: SALT Galata

Workshop Leader: Gizem Aksu

This workshop invites participants on a tour of their own body geography

with the question “What kind of geography is my body?” If this geography

is not expected to be free from prejudice and self-judgment, could it be

possible to witness that which emerges from each layer that begin to

appear with deep listening and sensing, and escape from meaning to

reach the moment? It is a discovery extending from the daily repertoire

of feelings to the traces of aging flesh…You are invited to dive into the

abundance of body geography, in which all of life’s states are handled,

and the unique and authentic geography of every body.


Panel: Vegan Action- Justice for Animals

Time: 16:00 – 18:00    Place: Cezayir Toplanti Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room)

Speakers: Özlem Dede, Arvid Bager

As Vegan Action, we want to explain speciesism during the 24th LGBTI+

Pride Week. Hegemonic relationships are not just among humans but also

among species. How aware are we of the rights of animals in our hu-

man-centered lives? We defend the rights of LGBTI+, women, and people

with disabilities. We defend air rights and water rights. Who should be

defending the rights of other living beings? We want justice for all.


Workshop: Mask Workshop (II)

Time: 17:00   Place: TAK

Facilitator: Oğuz Güdek (Mask & March)

We are inviting all to our workshop to paint in colors not only the streets

and the squares, but also our bodies, and to make masks which we will

wear not in order to hide ourselves, but to be visible and to use our fre-

edom of expression.

Materials provided: Cardboard, paper, textile materials, scrap materials,

acrylic paint and coloring materials, glue. Participants can bring their own

additional scrap materials, visual materials and prints for collage techniqu-

The activity will last 12 hours over two days.

* Participation is limited to 30 people.

Please register at


PANEL: Trans Transition Process

Time: 17:00 – 19:00    Place: SALT Galata


Moderation: Asım Ada

Speakers: Esmeray,  Berk,  Sinem Hun

We listen to the steps of the trans transition process, the difficulties of the

procedures in the transition, the legal aspects of the medical process, use

of hormones, and surgeries from two different voices.


Panel: Sex Work

Time: 18:30 – 21:00    Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room)

Sex work is one of those topics about which very little is known in Turkey. Nevertheless everyone apart from sex workers make arguments about it. A collaboration between Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week and Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association opens to discussion the general rights situation, experiences, and needs of sex workers in Turkey. We invite everyone to solidarity with sex workers. Come, let’s talk about our problems together.
Moderator: Begüm Başdaş (Amnesty International Turkey Branch)


Kemal Ördek “The Struggle for Rights from Prostitution to

Sex Work and the Current Situation“

Dr. Gökhan Yildirimkaya “The Sexual and Reproductive Health Status of Sex Workers”

Özge Gökpinar “Representation of Sex Workers in the Media” – Derya Karagöz “Violence

Derya Karagöz, “Violence Against Trans Women Sex Workers: Experiences”

Niler Albayrak, “Informal Sex Work and Experiences in Entering the Brothel”  

Sevgi, “Life in a Brothel Through the Eyes of a Brothel Worker”

Mehmet, “Brothels and Needs Through the Eyes of a Brothel Boss”

Alper Rheme, “Being a male sex worker: questions and recommendations”

Yağmur Arıcan, “Discussions of Sex Work Politics”

“This event has been financially supported by LGBTİ+ Pride Week Comitee and Kırmızı Şemsiye Association.


Film Screening: Veşartî/Secret*

Time: 19:00    Place: Pera Müzesi Oditoryumu (Pera Museum Auditorium) 

Turkey – 2015 – 70′ Director: Ali Kemal Çınar

One day a woman (Aram) tells Ali Kemal that Ali Kemal will turn into a woman at the age of 30 and walks away. Ali Kemal is about to turn 30 and will get married soon after. As Ali Kemal tries to adapt to the idea of transformation, the protagonist also tries to find ways to continue the relationship with Berfin.

*There will be a Q & A after the screening.


Launch:  Refugee LGBTI+ Book Launch + Cocktail
Time: 19:00 – 21:00     Place: Nazım Hikmet Kültür ve Sanat Evi (Nazım Hikmet Culture and Arts House) 

Hêvî LGBTI Association has prepared Refugee LGBTI+ as a result of their work and interviews with LGBTI+ refugees to show rights violations and put public pressure. The book includes interviews with refugees who define themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual or Transgender as well as recommendations by experts, legal background, and articles to expose problems. We will find the chance the get together at the launch of Refugee LGBTI+ and get to know and evaluate this new book.


Workshop: Food Not Bombs Istanbul: The Tyranny of Love II

Time: 19:00 – 21:00    Place: İnfial

Following a first forum during Pride Week 2015, this year’s second workshop will focus on jealousy and possessiveness, which are among the forms of tyranny; as an alternative to monogamous, heteronormative relationship forms, communal living, polyamory, and open relationships will find a voice. The “Turkish family structure” is holding the state up, let’s not shy away from shaking it up.


Performance + Party: Play Night

Time: 21:00     Place: To be announced via email

We are inviting those interested in queer BDSM to a night of interactive games and performances that will change our perception towards sexuality and the body, and open the doors to a world outside the norm. Don your fetishes and don’t hold back from coming. Attendance is limited to 20 people; those who do not register will not be admitted. For registration email




Panel: Homophobia in Sports and Physical Education Classes

Time: 14:00 – 16:00    Place: SALT Galata

Ankara Liseli LGBTİ+

Moderator: Emre Demir

Speakers: Dr. İlknur Hacisoftaoğlu (Gedik University),

Arjin Deniz (Ankara High School LGBTI), Baran Ucal (Gedik University)

Have the LGBTI+ individuals who have come out in many branches of

sports in recent times helped defeat homophobia, transphobia, and

sexism in sports? What kind of sexual orientation-based discrimination

is there in physical education classes? Where are the intersections of

the discrimination we encounter in sports and at school? Starting with

a discussion of the discrimination experienced in sports, in which we

seek answers to all our questions and will exchange information about,

we would like to talk about the discrimination faced by gay and trans

students in physical education classes and discuss solutions together.


Film Screening: The Pink Report

Time: 16:00   Place: Pera Müzesi Oditoryumu (Pera Museum Auditorium)

Director: Ulrike Böhnisch, Germany, 2011, 75’

The Turkish Armed Forces defines homosexuality as a mental disorder

that exempts young men from compulsory military service. It requires

psychological and humiliating methods to medically diagnose. This film

tells the very personal stories of several gay men who chose different

paths regarding the military. The young men are forced to hide their faces

because of the lack in freedom of expression as they reveal one of Tur-

key’s biggest taboos due.


Workshop: “That Type” of Feminism

Time: 17:00 – 19:00     Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu 

Facilitators: Gizem Aslan, Nazli Cabadağ (LezBiFem)

The LGBTI+ movements test with feminism; What does the feminist move-

ment contribute to us, what do we contribute to feminism? Furthermore,

what does our feminism look like? We invite you to our forum to discuss

what this mutual relationship has achieved for us and its promised po-


* Participation is closed to cisgendered men.


Event: Mass HIV Testing Day

Time: 18:30   Place: Osmanbey Metro Station

Sometimes because we’re scared and sometimes because we don’t care

enough, we neglect getting tested. By saying that no one has to be alone

in this process, we’re inviting everyone to get a free, anonymous test

done with us. Let’s meet at 18:00 at the Pangalti Dolapdere exit of the

Osmanbey Metro Station across from Ramada Hotel.


Genetically Modified Tomato Award Ceremony

Time: 19:30 – 21:30     Place: Şişli Kent Kültür Merkezi (Sisli Urban Cultural Center)

The Genetically Modified Tomato Awards, Istanbul Pride Week’s indispen-

sable event, takes place for the 12th time this year. Candidates who have

competed with each other all year long in homophobia, transphobia, and

biphobia are voted for throughout Pride Week; the winners are announced

at the awards night! Everyone is invited to throw tomatoes.




Workshop: Tactics of Making Love without Fear: Safe Sexuality 

Time: 14:00 – 16:00   Place: Feminist Mekan 

Facilitator: Turkey Family Health and Planning Foundation 

Are you sure you put a condom on the right way? Do you know how to

share your toys? How do you have safe oral sex? And did you know that

you can get exposed to infection while practicing personal hygiene? Many

things you know to be right can be wrong!

We will talk about the ways to be sexual without harming our health, in

order to make love men to men, women to women, without fear. We will

ask our questions and discuss with experts from Turkey Family Health and

Planning Foundation, without hesitation.


Panel & Forum: LGBTI+ Refugees: Process, Advent, Solidarity 

Time: 15:00 – 17:00   Place: SALT Galata 

Moderator: Özlem Çolak (Lambdaistanbul)


Hayriye Kara (Kaos GL) “Legal framework in Turkey regarding

the refugees”

Mehmet Akin (SPoD) “Is Turkey a ‘safe country’ for refugees?”

Cihan Arikan (RFSL İsveç) ”What do the refugees experience in

the countries they were settled in?”


In the year 2016, Turkey has become the country with the most refugees

in the world as it hosts over 3 million refugees from different countries,

especially from Syria. As countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are

left on their own with a number of refugees that surpass the size of the

country, the European Union, United States and other developed countries

are trying to fortify their boundaries, on the grounds of security. LGBTI+

refugees experience a double difficulty as refugees and as LGBTI+s, since

their paths are blocked not only by forced displacement but also by increasing

conservatism. In relation to the theme of this year’s pride week,

through experiences in Turkey and Sweden, we will talk about the legal,

social and psychological dimensions of being LGBTI+ and being a refugee

and discuss the possibilities for our struggle together.


Testimonies from Refugees: Hussam Slk and other refugee friends

from the Arabic Tea & Talk group will talk about their experiences in their

countries, in Turkey and about their work.


Book Presentation: Can Kaya and Müzeyyen Arac (Hevi LGBTI)

Hevi LGBTI will talk about the book composed of testimonies of LGBTI refugees

living in Turkey and about how the book came to be.




Conversation: Bear Movement in Turkey, Yesterday, Today

and the Future 

Time: 15:30-17:30 Place: Hevi Lgbti Association


Panel: Being LGBTI+ Under Occupation 

Time: 17:00 – 19:00   Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room)

Moderator: Aslı Zengin


Okan (Keskesor) “Kurdistan Experience”

Zerşin (Keskesor) “Kurdistan Experience”

Siyabend (Kadiköy LGBTİ Meclisi) “Personal Experience

in the Nusaybin Occupation”

Joul Elias (Al-Qaws) “Palestine Experience”

Being an LGBTI+ individual in geographies under siege and occupation

does not only involve a fight of sexuality and desire against patriarchy

and heteronormativity but also other fights based on race and ethnicity as

used by the state and colonizer. The panel will focus on the intersection

of power and violence and seek to answer these questions: What does

it mean to be LGBTI+ in Kurdistan and Palestine? What does the LGBTI+

struggle mean in these geographies where violence is experienced in all

of its nakedness?


Forum: LGBTI+ Organizations of Turkey Meeting 

Time: 17:00 – 19:00     Place: SALT Galata 

What are the local dynamics of the LGBTI+ movement that keeps growing

in scope and in activity in Turkey? What are the experiences of the organizations

and how do they devise practices of struggle in different manners?

What was the agenda for the LGBTI+ movement in Turkey in 2016? How is

the opposition in the streets going? What are the elements that make the

local “local”? We will look for answers to these and related questions as

we intend to grow our struggle by developing a wider perspective on the

scope of the LGBTI+ movement in Turkey, by creating a dynamic discussion

with the representatives of local organizations. Come and join this process

of making sense and discussing!


Panel: Forming a Psychosocial Solidarity Network for LGBTI+s 

Time: 18:30 – 20:30     Place: SALT Galata

Facilitators: Aylin Ülkümen, Baran Gürsel, Doğa Eroğlu, Özlem Çolak

TODAP, a professional organization that also supports the social struggles

given against the problems LGBTI+ individuals experience, seeks ways to

multiply safe and accessible mechanisms of psychological support. In this

session we will take off from the experiences of different psychosocial

support networks and talk with the participants about whether there is

a need for a psychological support network for LGBTI+s, and if there is,

how that network could be formed, how the institutions in this field could

collaborate, what the principles and methods of this network could be.

We hope the resulting ideas will be the first steps for the formation of a

network that will provide support for LGBTI+s.


Forum: We Unite! 

Time: 19:00 – 21:00    Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room)

24th LGBTI+ Pride Week’s theme is “We Unite!”, we will get together as all

Istanbul-based LGBTI+ associations, LGBTI+ branches of unions and political

parties, LGBTI+ student clubs and independent activists to talk about

the situation of organizing together, alternative methods of organizing,

what we currently do and what we can do in the face of the growing

difficulties of even going out on the streets as we experience these days.


Film Screening: #direnayol* 

Time: 20:00   Place: Pera Müzesi Oditoryumu (Pera Museum Auditorium)

Director: Rüzgâr Buşki, Germany – Turkey, 2016, 60’

#direnayol follows trans* activist Şevval Kiliç who is infected by the joy

of the Gezi Resistance and the 21st Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week. #direnayol

is a lawless visual and auditory journey to witness the wave of hope,

humor, and solidarity that we now need to remember in the current day

politics of Turkey.

* There will be a Q&A after the screening.


Dinner: Rainbow Feast 

Time: 20:49   Place: In front of Galatasaray Lisesi

Come and bring your iftar meal with you, to prepare a feast where no one

others another, where diversity is our wealth, where property is shared,

to show that we can build a life based on equality-justice and freedom,

no matter what language you speak or which race you are, without saying

heterosexual vs gay, believer vs nonbeliever, embracing all and building

a vegan meal together that does not reproduce the hierarchy between




Party: Bear Pride Week Opening Party

Time: 21:00   Place: Depo Taksim


Party: Safe Sex

 Time: 22:00   Place: COOP

Pride Week, remembered for its pre-parties, is back with its famous Friday

parties. Don’t forget to ask for your condom!




Panel: Organizing for LGBTI Rights in Politics 

Time: 12:00 – 14:00   Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room)

Speakers: Robert Hannah (Member of Parliament in Sweden), Terry Reintke

(Member of the European Parliament), Sedef Çakmak (Member of

the Besiktas Municipal Assembly)

This panel will explore how LGBTIs organize in politics, the language of

politics and how politics transforms itself. The panel will be with Sedef

Çakmak who was elected after SPoD’s “LGBTI-Friendly Municipalities” campaign

during the 2014 Local Elections, Robert Hannah who has made important

gains as a young MP in Sweden, and Terry Reintke who is among

the youngest members of the European Parliament.



Time: 15:00 – 20:00  Place: Maçka Park 


Once again this year, we invite you all to join a boisterous picnic on the

greenest of the green grass, under the trees. Sign language workshop will

be open to all attendees during the picnic. Workshops, games and much

more at Maçka Park, underneath the rainbow.


Workshop: Sign Language 

Time: 15:00   Place: Maçka Park

Facilitators: Kaan Göncü, Ahmet Turan Yilmaz


This Sign Language workshop organized by SPoD’s LGBTI with Disabilities

working group is open to all who want to understand deaf and hard-of-hearing

individuals in their own language, to discover sign language, and to

give moral support to our work with new thoughts.


Workshop: Flirt Zone 

Time: 15:00   Place: Maçka Park

Facilitators: Derya Akişli, Pinar Karabağ (LezBiFem)

Is flirting a fruit or a vegetable? How do you want your flirt? What we know

and what we desire is not enough. Are the feelings of Insecurity, taboo,

embarrassment, and fear that trick us really ours? Let’s talk about flirting

styles, spaces, and experiences.

* Participation is closed to cisgendered men.


Workshop: Armenian Folk Dance 

Time: 15:00   Place: Maçka Park

Facilitator: Kyle Khandakian

Kyle Khandakian was kicked out of an Armenian Folk Dance class that he

attended for 5 months in Armenia because he is gay. We will learn the

Armenian Folk Dance shoulder to shoulder despite homophobia, fascism,

sexism, and even closed borders.


Panel: Being LGBTI+ in Diaspora and Spaces for Organizing 

Time: 16:00 – 18:00   Place: Cezayir Toplantı Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Room)

Moderator: Sertan Kiyan


Kyle Khadakian “The Armenian Community in the US and Experiences

of Homophobia and Organizing in Armenia”

Robert Hannah “Experiences of Organizing in the Swedish Assyrian Community”


Sweden leads the world charts as an example of human rights and gender

equality. So how is being Assyrian and LGBTI+ viewed in Sweden? What

kinds of problems does one face when organizing and asking for votes as

a parliamentarian? What does one prepare for when voted into parliament

as an openly gay man? We will talk about what to face, what the advantages

and disadvantages are.


Short Films Screening 

Time: 18:00    Place: Cezayir Toplanti Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Hall) 

Kurneqîz / Trans Woman*

Directors: Gökhan and Seza Köreken Yalçınkaya

Kurdish short film about a 17 year old trans child who goes through an

internal reckoning and ostracization in a rural village.

* There will be a Q&A with the film crew after the screening.


Nerdesin Aşkim? / Where Are You My Love?*

Director: Merve Gezen 

The film that toured world festivals comes home with the “Human Rights

Award” from Boston and “Best Film” from Canada. The first screening in

Turkey will be at Istanbul LGBTI Pride.


* There will be a Q&A with the director Merve Gezen and actor Seyhan

Arman after the screening.


Talk & Forum: Trans LAB 

Time: 19:00-21:00   Place: Cezayir Toplanti Salonu (Cezayir Meeting Hall) 


Demet Yanardağ “From Sex Work to Advocacy: Trans Rights

Movement and Sex Workers Rights in Turkey”

Gani_Met “Queer Performances

in the Quandary of Body and Identity: Trans Experience Beyond

Binary Gender Structure”


Tournament For The Goal Givers 

Time: 19:00 – 21:00    Place: Taksim Spor Kulübü (Taksim Sports Club)

There is no swearing at women, sluts, fags. There is no being used by the

industry and mafia club owners. No excuse for violence by rowdy hooligans.

Despite the patriarchy and heterosexism of the soccer field, established

and distinguished (!) queer teams of the queer football community

(?!) Atletik Dildoa, Sportif Lezbon, Lezyonerler and Queer Park Rangers are

getting together for a fun, communal tournament (!!!) People who want to

experience the fun of scoring and getting scored, the intersection of dribbles,

can email us at and become a player in the

4th team called Queer Training Boarding School. Come, let’s meet offside.


Workshop: Drag King 

Time: 20:00 – 22:00   Place: Çıplak Ayaklar (Çıplak Ayaklar Dance Studio)

Drag King is the performance of different roles of men and masculinity

with clothes, attitude, make up, etc. Playboy, drifter, intellectual, tough

guy, gentleman, man on a mission, revolutionary, closeted gay, big shot,

family man, tender… Real or caricaturized; gender is a playground in this

workshop. You can perform stereotypes of men or you can reveal the

masculine in you! We’ll first study the book of manhood and practice

wearing beards and moustaches, walk, sit, etc. Then we’ll go party and

play. The workshop is open to women and trans individuals who want to

experience masculinity.


* Registration required. Please email




Party: Main Bear Pride Week Party 

Time: 21:00   Place: Depo Taksim


Party: Arabic 

Time: 22:00   Place: Nayah

Oriental shows, curvy performances all night and we can’t get enough

of it!

* All proceeds will go to solidarity with LGBTI+ refugees.




Event: Bicycle Tour 

Time: 15:00   Place: Beşiktaş İskele (Beşiktaş Ferry Stop)

Route: Beşiktaş – Kabatas- Karaköy- Tarlabaşi – Taksim – Istiklal Avenue

We meet at Besiktas Ferry Stop to pedal to Istiklal Avenue with our

Rainbow flags for the 24th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week.



Time: 17:00   Place: İstiklal Caddesi (Istiklal Avenue)

We are on Istiklal Avenue for the 14th time and with growing numbers!

We’re going to rock the streets with our slogans, fusing our joy and love

with our resistance, bedazzling the avenues with our rainbow flags. We

are way too few if you are not there!



Party: Bear Pride Week Cocktail 

Time: 22:00   Place: Depo Taksim


Entrance: Free (2 glasses of cocktail drinks sangria free of charge)


Party: Closing Party 

Time: 22:00   Place: COOP

To celebrate our existence, our love, our desire, our pride, let’s meet at

the 24th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week closing party after coloring Taksim

in rainbows.