Category: Turkey

Turkey LGBT: Police stifle Istanbul Gay Pride rally

Authorities in Istanbul had banned the rally for a third successive year

Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have thwarted attempts by organisers to hold a banned Gay Pride march.

The organisers of the annual event had vowed to press ahead despite the ban by the authorities, who had cited threats from far-right groups.
But police briefly fired rubber bullets to disperse the marchers and detained a number of them.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey – unlike in many Muslim nations – but homophobia remains widespread.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling AK Party is rooted in conservative Islam, has denied wanting to impose traditional religious values, saying he is committed to secularism. But he supports Turks’ right to express their religion more openly.
He has been accused of growing authoritarianism in recent years.

Locked up: How lesbian couple ended up in a Turkish jail

Jimena Rico and Shaza Ismail are back in Spain after a three-week ordeal

James Badcock writes:

Less than a month ago, Spaniard Jimena Rico, and Egyptian-born Shaza Ismail were just like any other young, gay couple in London, the city where their romance blossomed.

But after a call from Ms Ismail’s father, the two set out on on a trip which they say involved death threats, escape across international borders, and a spell in a Turkish jail where, Ms Ismail says, the treatment was “unexpected, inhumane and horrible”.


Safe in Ms Rico’s Spanish hometown of Torrox, the couple faced the cameras to reveal a nightmarish three-week ordeal which, according to Ms Rico, began after her partner’s family in Dubai had tried to separate them by force.
“I really want to tell our story because I think it could help many people who live in a situation of repression for being homosexual,” Ms Rico told reporters who had gathered in the room to hear their story.
It had all started innocently enough. According to the 28-year-old, the couple flew from London to Dubai on 14 April because Ms Ismail’s father had said that her mother was ill in hospital.
“But it was a trick,” said Jimena Rico. “He threatened to kill us and said we could go to jail for being lesbians.”

Turkish authorities block Wikipedia without giving reason

Costa Rica condenó ataque terrorista contra discoteca turca


‘Costa Rica censura este acto criminal y el ataque deliberado contra la población civil que cobró la vida de 39 personas y dejó un saldo de 69 heridos el pasado 31 de diciembre de 2016. Las autoridades también reiteraron su rechazo al terrorismo en todas sus formas y manifestaciones’, indica el texto oficial.

Señala que Costa Rica expresa sus más sentidas condolencias al gobierno turco, a las familias de las víctimas y hace votos por la recuperación de los sobrevivientes.

PEN calls for immediate release of VICE News journalists detained in Turkey


English PEN, PEN American Center, PEN International and PEN Turkey are extremely concerned about the detention of four VICE News journalists in Turkey and have called on the Turkish authorities for their immediate release.

British journalist Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury were reporting from south-eastern Turkey along with two VICE News colleagues when they were detained last Thursday.
The reporting team had previously covered a story about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish army in the same region in a documentary for VICE News in January.
The ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK came to an end earlier this year. The Turkish government has since targeted the group in Iraq and Turkey.
A member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is a state party to both the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is therefore obliged to respect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that journalists are free to gather information without hindrance or threat.
At a time of heightened tension in the region, it is more important than ever that journalists are allowed to do their vital work without intimidation.
Turkey’s targeting of journalists who report on the PKK, alongside other sensitive topics, and its routine use of counter-terrorism legislation against the media are a longstanding cause of concern for PEN.