How was the 5th Mersin Pride Week?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mersin’s 5th Pride Week took place on July 1-7 with the theme of “Hasbihal-Sincere Conversation” under the slogan of “Alıktırıyoruz! – We do not pass!”

Following the publication of the 5th Mersin Pride Week Program by the committee, the Governorate of Mersin has banned all LGBT+ activities in one of the biggest Mediterranean cities of Turkey. The Muamma LGBTI+ Association filed a lawsuit for the suspension of execution against the ban, but the ban was indirectly protected by the court through granting the right to respond to the governorship for 20 days for the 20-day ban.

1st of July: Hasbihal-Conversations Forum

The week has started with a press conference and the “Hasbihal Forum”, as the opening event of the week. Participants of the forum had conversations about solidarity against the prohibitions and the empowerment of speaking about the LGBTI+ existence. The activity continued as an open forum around; normative-alternative families, coming out, prohibitions, “unprohibitions” and organizing.

2nd of July: Conversations With the Neighbour

The “hasbihal”- conversation activity in the neighboring Mediterranean city of Adana has been canceled due to the threats of intervention from the police. Despite the lack of formal prohibition for the city of Adana, police unlawfully intervened to the event end forced the committee to cancel it.

3rd of July: Soliloquy Conversations

“Soliloquy Conversations” activity, under the theme of self-compassion,  was conducted by the Muamma LGBTI+ Association psychologist was held with a closed group. After the event, which was attended by 20 people, the participants requested the continuation of this kind of activities.

Open the Window So the Rainbow May Come In

The “Open the Window So the Rainbow May Come In” event, where LGBTI +s chatted with festivities, poems, and songs, was held with the participation of 60 people in an LGBTI-friendly place.

4th of July: Queer Tango

Queer Tango event came to Mersin for the first time with the 5th Mersin Pride Week. The committee commented on the event: “We experienced how to make a more equal dance. We talked about body, contact and boundary issues in pre-dance practices. The event was planned to be held in a café but we were forced to a hotel lobby due to the police pressure.”

Commemoration Match for Beril

5th Mersin Pride Week has kicked the ball against heterosexualism to remember Beril, the cheerleader of Muamma Football Team who passed away last year.

5th of July: Safety Workshop

The 5th Mersin Honor Week organized a workshop focusing on security, as the prohibitions and attacks against the activities become increasingly frequent.  The workshop was held by volunteer lawyers of the Muamma LGBTI + Association and talked about “the lawlessness of prohibitions” and “how should we go to the protests”. Volunteer lawyers shared the visuals about the rights, with the participants.

Lubunca Language and Literature

An entertaining and practical workshop has taken place on how the Lubunca, Turkish queer cant, was created, who used it at where, where is it used nowadays.

Local Organization Meeting

Organization representatives from 11 cities have met in the Local Organization Meeting and had conversations about the needs of the local organizations, practices of organization, achievements, and prohibitions. The evaluation of the first half of 2019 has been made at the end of the meeting.

Costume and Banner Workshop

5th Mersin Pride Week has created costumes and banners to tell the city that “We are seductive!”

7th of July: Every Walk is a Pride March

Participants have gathered in the office of Muamma LGBTI+ Association to say “We are here anyway!”. After the press statement, screening of the movie “Stonewall” took place. After the movie, the participants marched with groups of three or two with the banners and costumes that ensures visibility, against the prohibition of marching with big groups by saying “Even if we can’t march together #Every Walk is a Pride March”. Mersin Pride Week ended with the queer tango on the beach in the evening.

Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

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