When Hate Becomes an Instrument: 4 Queer Culture Employees From Turkey React To the Anti-LGBT+ Rally in Istanbul - Upsmag - Magazine News

When Hate Becomes an Instrument: 4 Queer Culture Employees From Turkey React To the Anti-LGBT+ Rally in Istanbul

“When Hate Becomes and Instrument” by Alper Turan with B.Toprak Karakaya, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, and Yasemin Kalaycı and Elçin Acun, the creators of Koli Art Area, is an essay commissioned by PROTODISPATCH, a brand-new digital publication including individual viewpoints by artists dealing with transcontinental issues, filtered by where they remain in the world. It was initially released by the worldwide not-for-profit Protocinema and appears here as part of a cooperation in between Protocinema and Artnet News.


On September 18, 2022, an “anti-LGBT+ march” was kept in Istanbul under the name of “The Big Household Event” with the motto “Secure Your Household and Generation, Stop Perversion” and the involvement of neighborhoods and sects was supported by the state organizations and political celebrations.

The Istanbul Pride March has actually been prohibited considering that 2015 on the premises that it threatens “public security.” As an outcome, this march has actually gone through extreme cops violence for the last 7 years. 3 hundred and seventy-three individuals were detained throughout the pride march in 2022, the biggest mass detention in the last few years. Activists were apprehended, subjected to physical and mental violence, and kept in squad car for lots of hours.

The calls for involvement in “The Big Household Event” is the most recent relocation by the anti-LGBT+ motion arranged by the political Islamist federal government and ultra-nationalist celebrations and supported by state organizations.

Their actions replicate the conspiracy theories that have actually been considered approved in the last few years, arguing that “LGBT propaganda in the digital age is an infection that is covering Turkey and the world” which “If you wish to state ‘stop’ to the worldwide and imperialist lobbies that wish to ungender the neighborhood, lower the human proliferation, and damage the household organization, join our Huge Household Event to safeguard our household, our kids, and future generations.”

A video of the call for involvement was considered a “civil service statement” by Turkey’s Radio and Tv Supreme Council (RTÜK) and was motivated to be transmitted complimentary of charge by nationwide channels.

This anti-LGBT+ motion, which intends to engage citizens in advance of the governmental and parliamentary elections in 2023  by intensifying mass polarization, carries out illusionary victimhood while carrying the anger of the significantly impoverished individuals to “simple target LGBT+ individuals” and instrumentalizes hatred. The LGBT+ neighborhood, the target of significantly active hate politics in the last few years, is dealt with as a criminal company and queer individuals, who are presently not permitted any public exposure and representation, are exposed to all type of unreasonable treatment and violence and put in insecure and precarious positions.

In Turkey, not just is the Pride Parade prohibited, the rainbow flag thought about a criminal gadget and the abbreviation “LGBT” is thought about propaganda, however all counter-protest occasions such as March 8 conferences, the Boğaziçi University resistance, and performances of opposition vocalists, were likewise prohibited. The presence and motion of all opposing identities are under consistent paranoid control. 

This text, produced for Protodispatch (Protocinema’s brand-new digital publication task that commissions artists’ viewpoints on regional and global problems), includes the reactions of 4 queer culture employees from Istanbul to the anti-LGBT+ rally that happened on September 18.

Young filmmaker Toprak Kara, who took part in The Huge Household Event, shared the pictures they drew from the walk with us. Toprak Kara, who attempted to go to the rally using a hat with the rainbow flag–which has actually now been designated a terrorist sign–recorded the consistent mass, the paradoxical minutes of the march, and the appropriated mottos utilized on banners.

On the very same day and at the very same time as the Huge Household Event, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu’s queer efficiency at Salt Beyoğlu in the heart of the city unfolded. Through this brand-new work, entitled Angelus Altera, she* changes Turkey’s queer past and resistance into active research study through her* body. Darıcıoğlu utilizes her* hair to beat 7 dune, each filled with rainbow-colored shine till each is flattened, making sterile shine all over. This whipping action mirrors the “whipping up” of feeling at the hate march that accompanied her* efficiency and happened a couple of kilometers away. 

Yasemin Kalaycı and Elçin Acun produce a queer, feminist, and transparent art area straight in contact with the hustle of the city in an environment where queer representation on the street is difficult. Kalaycı and Acun share their concepts about Turkey’s significantly aggressive governmental LGBT+ policy and their experiences through Koli Art Area, which they established in 2021 in Kadıköy, which can be thought about an alternative ghetto of the city and even the nation. Koli Art Area restores our faith in art and politics by foregrounding the hope that art can act as political representation when public involvement is not possible.
Alper Turan

*As an artist who disagrees with the binary gender system, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu utilizes “she/her” as a strikethrough with an asterisk in works and takes “they/them” in spoken language.


B. Toprak Karakaya
Photos from the anti-LGBT+ rally that happened on September 18, 2022

A “hafız” prospect (a term utilized by Muslims for somebody who has actually entirely remembered the Quran) holding an indication stating, “We protest all type of hatred, violence, and imposition directed at people” in an anti-LGBT+ rally kept in İstanbul. Ending up being inadvertently pro-LGBTI, the young “hafız” was utilizing the very same sentence LGBTI+ are utilizing to assault them. Picture: B. Toprak Karakaya.

BTK2 protocinema

Although any picture of the rainbow has actually been just recently thought about sacrilegious amongst lots of Islamic groups and is unlawful in Turkey to offer to minors, a female brings a rainbow carry bag, waiting on the rain to stop. Picture: B. Toprak Karakaya.

BTK3 protocinema

A female holds an indication, stating “State stop to those attempting to eliminate your grandchildren’s right to live”. Picture: B. Toprak Karakaya.

BTK4 protocinema

Members of the Ottoman Bike Club, a male-only monarchist group, existed at the rally. They were using gilets with an Ottoman coat of arms and fez, a sign of Ottoman association. Picture: B. Toprak Karakaya.

BTK6 protocinema

B. Toprak Karakaya is standing amongst the rally crowd, using a hat with a rainbow flag.

BTK5 protocinema

B. Toprak Karakaya, beside a rally guest using a tee shirt with an “Islam” umbrella safeguarding a “household” from a rainbow. The graphic principle, re-appropriated according to specifics of different regions, are being utilized in Russia, Poland, and Qatar.


Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu


Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Angelus Altera. A shot from the efficiency in Salt Beyoğlu on September 18, 2022. Courtesy Salt, İstanbul. Picture: Emirkan Çördük.

His Our face is turned towards the past. Where we you view a chain of occasions, he sees we see one single disaster that keeps stacking wreckage upon wreckage and tosses it in front of his our feet. The angel wishes to remain, awaken the dead, and make entire what has actually been smashed. We are going there, summoning the ghosts and making entire what has actually been smashed.1

On July 2, 1993, the very first LGBTI+ Pride March and the three-day occasion program that Turkish lubunyas2 wished to arrange under the name of Sexual Liberty Activities were prohibited on the premises that they protested the customizeds and worths of society. Your home doors of a few of the lubunyas on the arranging group were damaged with sledgehammers, homes were ransacked, individuals were apprehended, and individuals who originated from abroad for assistance were deported.

Although the very first Pride March happened just 10 years later on, in 2003, this very first effort to march pierced the golden that had actually fallen on that day, leading the way for the lubunyas to discover each other, come together, and produce today’s effective Queer motion.

While the magnitude of violence has actually been increasing every year and the power has actually been slowly betting high stakes for the last 7 years, think of a group of individuals who did not close themselves in their houses and collected in Beyoğlu and its environments to engrave their presence in the city, to safeguard their desire, their presence, not to be alone and not to leave each other alone, although they understood that they would be exposed to cops violence.

Although it is frightening to see what has actually occurred in the last 2 and a half years considering that I moved far from Turkey, the lubunyas advise me that even if our backs struck the ground after every demonstration, we have each other to raise us up and rub our injuries. The motto of the West, “The Future is Queer,” printed on Tee shirts, is breath for the bodies here, that’s clear. We are the future; the future is lubunya.

While I was developing Angelus Altera, the durational efficiency I carried out at Salt Beyoğlu on September 18, I had these ideas in mind: The very first 3 and a half hours of the efficiency appearanceed at the golden of the 80s, which is an inflection point for both lubunyas and Turkey in basic. On one hand, throughout this duration, a jail of worry was woven into the whole society by the military coup and individuals who passed away and were tortured in jails. On the other hand, the 80s represent the solitude of not having the ability to discover each other, and even not understanding one’’s own presence.

The Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian homes that were damaged and the lives that were displaced when Tarlabaşı Boulevard was being opened exposed the damaged doors of Ülker Street, a trans ghetto of the 90s, broken by Hortum Süleyman3, who was the commissioner of Beyoğlu Police headquarters and well-known for his transphobia. There was likewise the worry that came in between bodies and desires with the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The next 3 and a half hours of my efficiency consisted of the voice of ruining borders and establishing extra-territorial positions, as in the history of Turkish efficiency art, of the war and the resistance on the one side of the nation, of getting more powerful as lubunyas, of coming together, and the method of stating: “We are the future and no matter what you do, you cannot stop us.”

Understanding that RTÜK4, the media guard dog of the nation, of which I am a person and to which I pay taxes, provided the call of the Household Event as an invite to the attacks that were taking place 20 minutes away, spreading out hatred versus queer presence, swollen my efficiency of Angelus Alter.

There were quiet weeps of, “Here’s your hatred, here’s your household,” by the sand stacks that I beat with my hair. My shouting, my whip emerged throughout my hair, as my hair was beating the dunes and my body was swelling in this three-and-a-half-hour pogo of sand and hair. My every fall spread more rainbows, more shine, more shimmers. The tears I saw in the eyes of the audience were stating: We are taking apart these hills that are being put versus us, we are unifying currently, we are dancing together in the sand and the shine, in tears and desire.

1. Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Viewpoint of History, Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn, New York City: Schocken Books, 1969: p249. The text has actually been controlled by Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu and Natis fka. Hasan Aksaygın and utilized in Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu’s Angelus Alterus efficiency.
2. A lubunca (Turkish queer and deceptive language) word that was initially utilized to indicate a womanly gay or trans female, however later on broadened to explain all queer gender identities today.
3. The previous chief of cops. He is understood for his acts of violence versus transsexuals in Beyoğlu throughout his period. In 2000, he was attempted and provided a jail sentence of 2 years, 3 months and 27 days on the premises that he had actually dedicated violence versus 9 transgender individuals throughout his task, however he got away penalty as an outcome of an amnesty in 2003.
4. Radio and Tv Supreme Council, likewise called RTÜK, is the Turkish state firm for tracking, managing, and approving radio and tv broadcasts.

Koli Art Area (Yasemin Kalaycı & Elçin Acun)


Shot from Koli Art Area opening reception of the present exhibit, ÇARK, September 3, 2022. Picture by Tahir Akkurt.

Turkey’s policy towards LGBTI+ people is heading towards a rather dissentious point due to the approaching elections. Those in power are continuously requiring hatred through their long-held channels. The media work at this. Individuals are welcomed to reveal uniformity in rallies such as the “Huge Household Event and March,” with unreasonable, unwarranted, and out-of-date arguments provided in the name of civil service statements. An infectious hostility is sustained by developing a sense of unity out of hatred.

On the other hand, serene demonstrations, such as the “8 March Feminist Night March” and “Pride Month Occasions,” are entirely forbidden and, when they do occur, are met cops violence. In this program, it is then alright to back up the rhetoric of violence in events such as “household” rallies.

Political power chooses which body is essential and is thought about a genuine part of the social body and can quickly encourage individuals to marginalize, cheapen, consider expendable, and even criminalize those who are various. This threatens our extremely presence by sustaining a lynch mob culture.

More than ever, we require areas where we can permit our ideas to breathe, satisfy around comparable ideologies, produce together, and feel safe without being exposed to dislike speech. At KOLİ Art Area, this has actually been our objective considering that the start, and in this context, we want to be activists in the battle for the freedom and exposure of LGBTI+ people, concentrating on gender equality.

KOLİ is a location in the community of Yeldeğirmeni, with windows on all exteriors. For that reason, it develops a direct relationship with the outdoors and has an architecture that brings in the attention of even those who are not art audiences and welcomes them within. Yeldeğirmeni has actually altered considerably in the last couple of years; it has actually ended up being costly and a few of individuals who have actually lived there a very long time have actually needed to move, while store coffee shops have actually changed regional store owners.

Regardless of these modifications, it is still a district where the community culture continues. We are surrounded by regional tradespersons; individuals connect value to neighborly relations. We observe that they live by appreciating each other’s areas without relating to each other as complete strangers. It is among the uncommon districts in Istanbul where we can exist easily and easily without a sense of elitism.

Although many traditional galleries are on the European side, the artists choose to keep their workshops here on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. They settle in districts such as Yeldeğirmeni, where they can feel the spirit of the city and experience the turmoil of Istanbul and form a neighborhood instead of in recently developed communities. Regional store owners and our next-door neighbors are accustomed to artists and places in this sense. This openness is a benefit that increases the exposure and variety of individuals we attend to, however likewise makes it susceptible.

Up until now, we have actually not had huge issues throughout the occasions we have actually held. While we have actually in some cases come across problems throughout the efficiencies that overruned the streets and, on celebration, the cops even came, absolutely nothing major occurred.

As individuals who are so frequently rejected and pressed into the shadows in public locations, it is essential for us to be noticeable. At the very same time, the boost in hate speech in today’s environment undoubtedly presses us to be careful.

We imagine having the ability to safeguard what we have without worry, with self-confidence and to be more freed with every action.

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