Life

The Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek Openly Discriminates Against LGBT People!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
LGBT organizations responded to the discriminatory statement of the Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek.
 
SPoD (Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association), Kaos GL and Pembe Hayat (Pink Life) Associations criticized the mayor Gökçek for simply ignoring LGBT rights.
 
Ankara-based Kaos GL and Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Associations explained in their joint declaration that they are not going to accept the mayor’s statement and said:
 
“Through his statement as the Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek declared that he is going to discriminate against LGBT people he is actually responsible for.”
 
On 2 April 2012, at a TV show Okan Bayülgen asked the following question to the Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek: “When will we have a gay mayor?” Perplexed by the question, Melih Gökçek answered: “Sure, we do have our own way of living, own traditions and mores. They (the Western world) are at a different point… We hope that in Turkey there won’t and there shouldn’t be a gay mayor.”
 
The remark made by SPoD (Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association) is as follows: “We assert that Melih Gökçek’s discourse with his “there won’t and there shouldn’t be a gay mayor” statement is not a democratic attitude and we want to underline that just like there can be a religious prime minister, there can be a gay mayor as well. We would gladly like to inform that we are working at this direction.”
 
Kaos GL and Pink Life assocations pointed out that when the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) existence is hard to ignore, legitimization of discrimination and human rights violations against LGBT people are sustained through the ambiguous terms like “General Morality”, “Turkish Family Structure”, “Mores” and “Traditions”.
 
Emphasizing that Melih Gökçek expressed that the LGBTs’ right to elect and to be elected can be violated, Kaos GL and Pink Life associations said “He revealed that LGBT people are not equal citizens for him.”
 
Reminding that the “gay mayor” debate is popular in media every now and then, the joint declaration of Kaos GL and Pink Life associations reads:  
 
 “As Kaos GL and Pink Life associations we support that people should be provided with equal opportunities and be able to use their right to elect and to be elected regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. We are interested in whether mayors care about the problems of different parts of the society, not in their sexual orientation or gender identity. Considering his level of success on caring about the problems of different parts of the society and handling them at local administrations, what we can say is there cannot and shouldn’t be such a mayor.
 
SPoD (Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association) said to those who think like Melih Gökçek: “Yes, we are here. We hope that we will and we should have a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Mayor of Ankara or Mayor of İstanbul or even prime minister.” 
 
 
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