THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Three recent pro-transgender developments inside Turkey has some trans people hoping for more acceptance into Turkish society. Although Turkey is a long way from being a haven for trans and GLB people, it does appear they’re on the right track.
Turkey’s High Court of Appeals ruled that for “insulting the personal freedom of individuals”, the Yeni Akitto newspaper (now called Vakit) is to pay damages to KAOS GL, a LGBT organization who filed the lawsuit.
Zafer Uskul, then head of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, was the subject of the headline that read “Uskul prefers perverts” following his attendance at an anti-homophobism meeting. In addition to other insults, the writer, Serdar Arseven, stated Uskul was catering to “she-males” (in reference to gay and lesbian people).
The court said: “The freedom of the press does not encompass the freedom to insult the personal freedoms of individuals.”
Other recent positive transgender news in Turkey: The Turkish transgender-themed film Zenne Dancer, which won five major awards at the country’s top film festival, is now in theaters. Bulent Ersoy, a noted Turkish transgender singer who was attacked for claiming prior association with an iconic leader by those who felt the leader would have never befriended trans people, has been publicly apologized to.
Still, this is a country where most people are unable to talk about GLBT matters and a recent poll showed that 84% of the people in Turkey would not want to live next door to gay people.
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