21/04/2014 | Writer: Kaos GL
A panel on ‘Queer and Architecture’ to be held in Mardin Artuklu University has been cancelled following threats in local newspapers.
A panel on “Queer and Architecture” to be held in Mardin Artuklu University has been cancelled following threats in local newspapers.
Founder of Kaos GL Association, Ali Erol, and Kaos GL Advisory Board Member, Prof. Dr. Selcuk Candansayar, were expected to attend a graduate class in the Department of Architecture last Wednesday. The rectorship has cancelled the panel after Ilke News Agency published news entitled “What is Artuklu University trying to do?”
The news labeled the event as “immoral” and cited a local association called Mardin Dost Der as stating “we strongly condemn this disgusting panel.”
"University should be a place for freedom of expression"
The lecturer Assoc. Prof. Dr. Levent Senturk emphasized that the event was cancelled after the homophobic media coverage. Senturk told kaosGL.org that students and lecturers organized an alternative forum at the time when the panel was scheduled:
“The cancellation of the panel caused a big reaction of students and lecturers alike. There should not be any obstacle before freedom of expression at the university.”
However, homophobic coverage continued in the media as dogruhaber.com published a column by M. Mufit Yaray entitled “Cancellation Not Enough, These Immoral People Should Leave Mardin”, attacking on Senturk personally.
Academics Gave Support to Their Colleague
As Senturk is getting prepared to file a criminal complaint against the coverage, lecturers at the university condemned the cancellation of the panel and the media coverage attacking their colleague:
“Our academic activities should not be prevented by hatred, slander and marginalization.”
The statement criticizing the claim that the panel would insult religion is signed off by the following academics:
Ezgi Tuncer Gurkas