Men of Istanbul 3


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Men of Istanbul 3

All good things come in threes! Istanbul is hotter than any other Turkish city, even in winter. This time the wild guys from the big throbbing city are out to stuff every hungry hole. If you’re into hairy men or fresh natural boys from the street, this flick will be a total treat. Those guys don’t waste any time to show their “Turkish glory? – well, a real man is always hard ‘n’ horny. In one scene a tranny turns on her Kurdish lover stud with a belly-dance and gets rewarded with some vigorous pussy-probing.

You’ll get 9 scenes featuring 13 men having sex – twosomes, threesomes, hot solo action and best buddies jacking off. An original Turkish tranny-fuck scene adds some special oriental flavor.

Watch full movie

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Istanbul, Independence Day, Soft porn and holding hands.

11 May 2010

Europe was experiencing a record heatwave in the summer of 1987. I worked in Torone, Northern Greece during this time and on completion stayed in Athens for a week or two. I tripped to Corfu and motorbiked past the casino where James Bond did his thing.

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I then gave myself a two day pass to Istanbul, couldn’t afford Egypt. The travel agent could have told me I was going during Independence Day celebrations. There were lots of people, including soldiers carrying machine guns to welcome me at the airport. It was late evening and it was hot.

When I arrived at the hotel I walked some back streets, found a shop that sold fruit, went back to the hotel and settled in for the night.

The next morning I woke to the sound of traffic, checked the view straight out and two floors down. There was lots to see and the main road was chockers with beeping cars. And, in the words of the immortal Lloyd Bridges who starred in Sea Hunt (a show I watched as a young shaver) “Then I saw it!?

The reason for so many mosques and the frequent calls to prayer; pedestrians trying to cross the road without being flattened! Seeing this was happening on marked crossings only heightened the importance of the calls.

Taking a deep breath I ventured forth and considering the heat, the crowds and the maps, I covered a lot of the tourist spots and some not so touristy. The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace (open), Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower and Bridge. A boat ride on the Bosphorus saw the mighty Bridge joining Europe and Asia. Fish were cooked over open flame in the boats rocking up and down wharfside and then sold to passers-by. I looked closely at crumbling cobblestone streets on my way to the Galata Tower and the view exposed the rooftops of the old buildings with broken bricks and washing flapping in the heat. I walked in local cemeteries and mingled with squillions of Turks during my two days squeezed between three nights.

A lot of ground was covered by foot, I would have preferred company and I haven’t included all that turned my head on my first visit to the mysterious, religious, middle east. I will relate however, detail of three distinct cameos, though perhaps not extraordinary, became the catalyst and objective for penning this belated but not forgotten slice of my life.

Strangely, I was one of only three tourists on top deck of the boat that plied the Bosphorus with a commentator. The other two, a couple, chatted away. I looked and nodded meaningfully at the sights indicated and agreed with myself when appropriate. Whilst under way, the guide chatted to me, and finding that I was an Aussie announced that he wanted to migrate to Australia. He was keen because he understood that migrants were given a house and land if approved to stay. He was dead serious about the real estate and sought my reassurance. I said, ? Mate, maybe near Broken Hill or Ayers Rock (now called Uluru), I don’t think in the cities.? Unsettled, he gave a nodding head shake and we left it there.

Just a couple of blocks from my hotel I discovered a suburban picture theatre. My initial walk gave me the impression that it was closed altogether until I noticed dates and times I could understand. The following night I took myself to the movies (from the wicked west it seemed). A strange experience starting with a questioning look from the ticket office man; no words, just got my ticket. I then walked down two flights of stairs (impression of a bomb bunker) that were very dark and delivered me to the actual theatre doors. There were a lot of people, all locals I thought, outside these doors. I stood out in the darkness like the proverbial; the only Anglo-Saxon type with hair to the shoulders and fairly bleached at that from daily swims where I had worked. If it was quiet before, it became quieter with my presence. The first movie ( of a double) started and I took my seat. I don’t remember it but it had Turkish subtitles, and that was good for me. Hardly any of the locals watched it. After an intermission, the second movie got underway. This brought in all those waiting in the darkness. Movie No.2 was raunchy, with some nudity and mild sex scenes. I was surprised; after all, I was in Istanbul, a religious and mysterious middle eastern country. The audience was very quiet except for a snicker or two from one guy who was quickly shushed. I was aware of many stealthy glances in my direction. The movie finished and everyone filed out. Hardly a word spoken. Maybe because of me, certainly not to me. The movies were okay, I don’t remember the names.

Outside the theatre, everyone (all males, no women) broke off and quietly headed elsewhere in the dark. Being an involuntary conspirator in naughtiness was interesting food for thought on my way back to the hotel.

Lastly, during my walking tour I couldn’t miss the number of guys walking and holding hands. This wasn’t father and son stuff as far as I could tell although it was possible in some cases. Hand holding wasn’t secretive either.

This puzzled me enormously, and it grabbed my attention when crossing the Galata Bridge. I hadn’t seen this many guys holding hands since driving through Oxford St, Darlinghurst (Aust). No-one seemed bothered or distracted with the hand holding either. It just seemed par for the course. There were guys in their teens, twenties or older and a mix of these ages. What I couldn’t figure was whether this was purely innocent behaviour which wouldn’t wash in my home town or whether these guys were gay. Straight guys just don’t hold hands like girlfriends do. It’s just not on, in Australia anyway. If these guys were gay then all seemed pretty relaxed about it. Again, I reflected on all the mosques.

So there it is. Istanbul was hot, busy and different. My two days were great and memorable. I’d like to return and cover more of Turkey.

Soft porn and holding hands in Istanbul has left me puzzled though. I’d really like some help to resolve this deep and enduring mystery. Anyone willing?

A footnote: I didn’t get to see the belly dancers in action ( tsk), I didn’t ask anyone about the hand holding (on shaky ground there), I did get a belly bug from the fruit I bought the first night in Istanbul.

Word for today: Istanbul: we’re mostly the same, just different.

Turkish Delight @ Home

It was a warm spring afternoon as I walked through the streets of my
neighborhood in New York. Images of my recent trip to Greece and Turkey
filled my memory. Ancient buildings and sweet perfumed air permeated my
memory now like so many days in Istanbul. I pondered my next travelogue and
went about my browsing in shop windows and lazily drinking my tea.

As I walked through Washington Square park an oddly familiar smell filled
my nostrils. It was a mix of smells – warm fresh food, roasting meats,
distinctly savory herbs – not exactly curry, not really Asian, but
specific. Then it occurred to me – it smells like the bazaars in
Turkey. Had my memory manifested itself outwardly? I continued across the
park when the smell became stronger and I happened upon a few small shops
with Turkish names, and was mesmerized. I had forgotten about the market
only a few blocks from my own apartment. Next to the grocery was another
door I hadn’t ever taken much note of, but it, as well, was Turkish in its
distinction. I peered through the window and saw jars of herbs and
medicinals, incense and oils. I went inside and enveloped in the warm,
savory smells of my memory.

“Hello.” The shopkeeper greeted me in accented, but clear English. I said
hello and just turned in slow amazement at the twelve-foot high shelves
that banked every wall.

“You are here for hamam?” the shopkeeper asked me. “No, just browsing.” I
replied with my reflex response.

Hamam? A bathhouse? Did he just ask if I was here for the bathhouse? I
turned back to the old man and asked quizzically, “Excuse me, there is a
hamam here?”

I was intrigued. In Turkey I had taken the advice of an American who had
traveled many times to Turkey and told me of a number of hamams to visit
while there. Never being a “spa” person, I avoided them, but in my last
days I visited a couple and was glad of the experience. It was a relaxing,
and refreshing experience, and mercifully void of the sexual expectations
of the so-called bathhouses in the U.S.

“Yes. You would like to come to bathe?” he asked. I talked with the
shopkeeper for a while about the hamam. I was surprised that there would be
such a place in New York. We talked about my recent trip to Turkey, and I
told him how much I enjoyed the hamams I had visited there.

“Oh, I am sorry. This is much smaller. One person only. City does not allow
traditional hamam here. You make appointment for bath?” he asked.

“Yes.” I answered immediately. Perhaps my eagerness to recapture some of my
recent memories overcame me.

I followed the old man to the counter, and he opened a large tapestry
book. “Today?” he asked.

“Sure.” My eagerness was jumping in my throat. “What time?”

The old man looked across the page of the book studiously, then looked
disappointed. “Today only at 8:30 p.m. Last time of the day, though!”
expressing that last point as a bonus.

“Sounds great.” I replied and bounded out of the store.

Around 8:20 I entered the store again as a man in his 40’s swept the
store. “We close in 10 minutes.” He announced to me.

Slightly confused, I told him I had made an appointment for 8:30 for the
hamam.

“Oh yes! Of course. Please come in.” he waved me in. “We close the shop at
8:30, but during the last appointment of the day, I am able to clean and be
home by 9.” He smiled his crooked smile at me and nodded.

“This way please.” He smiled, ushered me into a small, but beautifully
appointed room, and handed me a pair of thin-soled rubber slippers. “Please
hang clothes there, towels are on the table.” I nodded and thanked him,
and left me.

The room was as luxurious as anything I’d ever seen in Turkey. Perhaps a
little overdone for the Americans, but still it was nice to sit on such
amazing silk cushions. I removed my clothes, wrapped the small linen towel
around my waist, and put on the slippers. I stood up and caught sight of
myself in the mirror. My time in Turkey had done wonders for my physique,
and broke me of the habit of shaving my body hair. I ran my hands over my
now hairy chest and absently stroked a nipple. I liked my body as it
was. Now much more muscular, having walked all over Istanbul for a couple
months and regular trips to the gym, I actually had the flat stomach and
tight rear end that I had at 22, even though I would celebrate my 40th
birthday in less than a month. Just then a tall, thin, younger man in a
breezy white cotton tunic came to my door. “Hello, I am Amir. Time for
steam!” he announced.

I followed him down the corridor to a white tiled steam room approximately
the size of a New York kitchen. A pale golden light filled the room and I
could make out two other figures among the curls of steam. The dark, olive
skin and hairy bodies gave testament to their Turkish roots. They sat on
opposite sides of the room, so I attempted to sit an equal distance from
each in the middle. As they had forsaken their towels, I did as well,
folding mine up and sitting on it like a mat.

I began to give myself to the swirling steam. It was gently scented of
sandalwood gave the room a distinctly male scent – both relaxing and
invigorating at the same time. The man on the right stood up, stretched and
lay out on the warm tile, with his arms folded behind this head. I admired
his thick, muscled body, and the opportunity that he provided me to admire
him. Realizing my own nakedness, I decided it would be best for me not to
ogle him, as my arousal would be much too visible, and I wouldn’t want to
offend anyone.

I opened my eyes again as my young guide Amir entered the room. He handed
me a large white, terry robe that seemed to be fresh from the oven. “Put
this on, so you won’t be cold.” He said, as he helped me into the layers of
warm cotton. “Come with me please.” He instructed, and I followed. As I
passed the man on the right who I’d been admiring, I noticed a very large
erection protruding from between his legs, with no attempt to cover
himself. Perhaps, I had been too hasty in assuming they were easily
offended.

Amir walked me into a very heated, lowly lit room, with the familiar stone
table in the middle – the rotundas of the hamams in Turkey, but obviously
much smaller. The room was beautiful – richly detailed cobalt and ivory
mosaics filled the walls, granite fountains on all sides – perfect in it’s
beautiful symmetry and detail.

“Bathing and massage?” Amir inquired.

“Yes, I suppose so.” I responded. I didn’t recall what I asked for before,
but I didn’t care. I was enthralled with my new discovery, and wouldn’t let
costs worry me.

“Please, on the table.” Amir directed me. He lifted the robe off of my
shoulders, and I realized I left my towel in the steam room. I hoped he
would offer me a new one, but he simply gestured me onto the table. I
approached the stone table, and he spread out a towel on the stone, and I
crawled naked atop the table and lay on my stomach. The stone was perfectly
heated. Amir walked around toward my head, and slipped a thick, round piece
of plastic coated soft foam under my head. I turned my head to the left,
and laid my arms at my sides. On the other side of the room, Amir lifted
his long white tunic revealing his beautiful hairy young body, wearing
nothing underneath. He took a linen towel from the shelf by his workstation
and wrapped it deftly around his waist. He reached up and turned on soft
Turkish music in the background.

“You have been to hamam in Turkey, yes?” he asked. “Yes, I really enjoyed
it.” I answered.

“You have special Turkish massage and bath today.” He smiled at me and
turned to the faucet near the side of the stone. He began to pour hot water
on the stone around me, then across my body – not scalding, but perfectly
heated. Again, somehow relaxing and invigorating.

“You don’t have a towel!” he exclaimed. “I get one for you.” “No,” I
protested, “It isn’t necessary.” I didn’t want him to have to do anything
special for me. “Oh, is okay for you then?” he asked. “Really, it’s
fine. Not to worry.” I assured him. I had to admit, I never really
understood the illusion of modesty presented by the thin, Turkish linen
towels. The bather and the bathee wore these thin cotton towels that hung
no more than a few inches past the edge of your butt cheeks, and ended up
soaking in the end, but it was somehow part of the modest custom. Amir
smiled and returned to soaking the table and me in steaming water.

We walked over to his workstation and unwrapped a cake of sandalwood
soap. He ran dipped it in the basin of hot water and began to lather it in
his hands. He began soaping my feet, massaging the weary soles and ankles
with his strong hands, working the soap in perfect circles around my
skin. He bent my knees up and massaged my calf and shins. First the right,
then the left. I could hear him hum quietly as he systematically worked the
tension out of every pore of my body. He moved his way above my knees to my
thighs, and slid his hand between then, gently pushing them apart. I
obliged and opened my legs to his command, and he began soaping and
massaging my now tensing thighs.

As he reached under my thighs, I worried that he would touch, or catch
sight of my growing erection. The movement of his hands was swift, and he
never managed to touch it, but as he lowered each thigh I winced slightly
as my weight forced my increasingly aroused cock was forced into the marble
below.

His work on, and between my asscheeks nearly sent me through the roof. I
don’t believe that he was aware of the effect he was having, but his hands
gave a slow, and delicious torture. By the time he worked his way to my
shoulders, my throbbing erection had managed to subside enough that could
enjoy the view of his cock swinging clearly under the thin, now soaked
linen towel. As he leaned over me to scrub my shoulders his weighty cock
and balls swung loosely below his towel. It was all I could do to keep my
hands to myself.

He then climbed onto the table with me and began to scrub my soaped body
with the familiar coarse brush used in every hamam. Usually the rough
scouring would be enough to end any sort of sexual appetite I had, but his
hot wet body next to mine, the hard scrubbing and rhythmic sway of our
bodies, kept my libido throbbing like a bass drum. I could hear him
panting softly as he scrubbed away at my back and ass. I knew then that he
was getting into the heat of the moment as much as I, as he straddled my
waist facing toward my feet as he scrubbed my legs. With every lurch he
made forward to scour my thighs, I raised my ass slightly to make contact
with his dangling balls. He moved down slightly to scrub my feet and
ankles, and left his monstrous ballsac sliding between my thighs, making
contact with my own aching balls, and throbbing cock beneath me. His wet,
hairy ass rubbed in tandem with mine, I was being teased into near sexual
ecstasy.

Swiftly, he jumped from the table and began to pour the warm water across
me to rinse me off. He put his washing cup back on the table and turned to
me and said only “Turn.”

I could see his excitement beginning to swell beneath his wet, disheveled
towel, as I turned onto my back, my own cock slapping my hairy belly with a
loud, wet “thwack.” If he were to be embarrassed or angered at my flagrant
sexual overture, aggressively forbidden in a traditional Turkish hamam,
this would be the time. But I didn’t care, I wanted him, and I was sure
that he wanted me too.

He turned back, and saw my throbbing manhood. He said nothing, but smiled
at me. He grabbed the soap again, and began to wash my chest and shoulders
down. He worked his way down my chest and body to my pubic region. He
skillfully began to massage around the base of my cock, and softly kneaded
my dangling nuts. He began to wash my cock slowly – sliding the foreskin up
and down the pulsing shaft. With one hand the pulled down firmly on my
ample foreskin, and wrapped the other around the bulbous purple head and
stroked it with this soap-lubed hand.

He backed off of my cock in the nick of time, and reached for the
scrubbing brush. He climbed back onto the table and straddled my thighs. He
lifted his wet towel, and draped it like a tent over my own aching
cock. His own cock landed like a weight on mine, and he began to grind my
crotch as he scrubbed my chest and arms. His monstrous cock was hardening
with every stroke. Slid my hands up to his thighs in a daring move toward
his supple ass. He reached back and rinsed off my clean scrubbed chest and
reached for a bottle of sesame oil. He raised off of me, and began to pour
warm, sweet scented oil over my body. His strong, playful fingers danced
across my tingling flesh. He then straddled me again, leaned forward and
plunged his forceful tongue into my hot mouth. We sucked each other’s
tongues while our cocks seemed to wrestle beneath us. He let forth a
muffled moan and my hand reached under his towel and grasped his enormous
cock. At least 10 inches long, and so thick I could barely close my hand
around it, it was on of the finest pieces of man meat I had ever had the
pleasure to behold. He raised up, and began to pour more warm oil on my
waiting cock. He wrapped his glistening hands around his and seemed to take
great delight in the play of my foreskin.

After several moments of torturous handwork, he raised himself over me, and
then lowered his tight ass down onto my dick. Skillfully, and patiently, he
accepted every inch of my pulsing prick. Slowly, I began to reciprocate
with inward strokes of my own. Eventually he was taking all 8 inches of my
meat without any effort. With every down stroke his own cock would slide
across my oil slicked belly and he would pant an appreciative note. We were
in perfect rhythm. We rolled among the steam, and oil and wetness. As the
tempo began to accelerate, he ripped off his linen towel and I grasped his
gargantuan cock in both my hands and pumped him in tandem with my every
stroke. Soon the familiar change in breath signaled that we were both ready
for much deserved release.

A SHOWER THEN A FUCK

Another Turkish delight straight from Istanbul: A Turkish boy heads off to the shower then joins his buddy comfortably installed on a couch and hard as a rock. He goes down on him first then bends over to take a good hard fuck! This video is part of MEN OF ISTANBUL 3 DVD from ZIP Production.

Turkey urged to stop brutal trans killings

Friday, 26 February 2010

International human rights groups are putting pressure on Turkish authorities to end shocking transphobic killings in the country.

Turkey urged to stop brutal trans killings

Turkey urged to stop brutal trans killings

The call comes after the murders of two transgender women in the last two weeks.

Turkish LGBT group Pembe Hayat, Human Rights Watch, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) have written an open letter to the Turkish Government, calling for stronger protection for trans citizens.

“Without meaningful government action to affirm their rights and ensure their safety, transgender people in Turkey will continue to live in fear,? Human Rights Watch researcher Juliana Cano Nieto said.

The letter details the most recent killing of a transgender woman on February 16 in Istanbul.

Turkish media reported Aycan Yener was stabbed 17 times and her throat slit while her housemate was also repeatedly stabbed in the attack, but survived.

On February 8, 35-year-old Derya Y was stabbed to death in her home in the Altındağ district of Antalya. Her throat was cut and she was found with multiple stab wounds.

Since November 2008, it’s thought at least eight transgender women have been murdered in Ankara, Istanbul and Antalya.

Putting a spotlight on the issue in its 2009 Progress Report on Turkey, the European Commission said transgender people were still subject to continued violence in Turkey and provisions in the country’s Criminal Code on “public exhibitionism? and “offences against public morality? allowed police to actively discriminate against LGBT people.

The coalition said it hopes the Turkish government will help protect transgender people from violence by establishing anti-discrimination laws and fostering better cooperation with police and the wider community.

info: To read the letter, visit www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/02/19/turkey-stop-violence-against-transgender-people

Tags: bisexual, European Region of the International Lesbian, gay, Human Rights Watch, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Pembe Hayat, Trans and Intersex Association

Winter Frolic – Turkish Gay Story

Winter Frolic

Interracial Turkish Gay Twink Porn

Interracial Turkish Gay Twink Porn

December in Istanbul can be quite cold. In fact, the last few years the city has even been getting snow. Some say it is because of global warming, climate change.

Sitting and warming up in the coffee shop, cups of steaming black coffee cradled in their hands to warm them, the three men discussed the weather, politics, tourists (and the lack of them in winter) and their profession.

Only the young, active and adventure-seeking Tabari was a full-time rent boy. Hasad and Rauf, both older men, only worked as rent boys evenings and weekends. Rauf even had a wife and family in the old section of the city. He said he did it for the money. Hasad claimed it was to practice his English. Tabari laughed and admitted he was a rent boy because he loved men and might as well get paid for it.

Hasad and Rauf smiled at him, indulgent of the younger man with his beautiful face, smooth skin, and dancing eyes. Rauf was tall and very dark, his muscles wiry and knotted from physical labor. A little gray even sprinkled his short, kinky black hair.

Nothing had ever come easy for Rauf, born into a poor household, undereducated, hard working. He was a good man. This bit of luxury, a warm coffee shop on a cold day, a good cup of coffee, pleasurable male company, this was all he asked for and he enjoyed every moment of it. Soon enough he would have to return home to his tired wife and screaming children.

Hasad fell right between them in age. Although he was not from a rich family, they were well to do enough that they had supported him through college and allowed him to study abroad. Of the three of them, he was the best traveled in both Europe and Asia, and had even spent a year in America. His dressed and spoke like a European, sleek and sophisticated in his manners and looks.

Rauf had never been out of Istanbul, and never wanted to be. Tabari, well, he was full of dreams. With luck, some of them might come true.

“Look!” Tabari exclaimed, “It is snowing!”

And so it was. He rushed from the shop to stand outside and watch the delicate flakes falling on the old streets and buildings. New lighted signs reflected from the damp surfaces. Their breath made puffs of smoke in the soft, gray dusk.

Tabari played; trying to scrape enough snow together from a window ledge for a snowball, but it was too dry and fell apart even as he threw it at Hasad. Caught up in the spirit, Hasad captured the younger man and playfully bent him over his knee.

“Here, Rauf, help me with this little ruffian!” he cried, and Rauf, laughing, made as if to spank the struggling Tabari.

With such good cheer they made their way together to a place they all knew, rented a dim room, splitting the cost, and tumbled into bed.

Ever eager to serve, Tabari sat up between Hasan and Rauf, a hard cock in each hand. He grinned widely and stroked them both together. Hasan took Tabari’s firm young dick into his fist and stroked slowly, teasing, while Rauf reached below to caress his balls. Tabari sighed and tilted his head back, eyes closed. Being sandwiched between the two strong men was his idea of bliss.

Rauf ran a calloused hand up the smooth, young chest and tweaked a nipple between hard fingers. Gasping, Tabari bent over and took Rauf’s bittersweet chocolate dark cock into his hot, talented mouth. With a moan of pleasure, Rauf ran a hand through the young man’s thick dark hair. Hasan watched stroking himself and Tabari, as the golden youth stroked the thick prick with his lips and tongue.

Rolling up onto his knees, Hasan cupped the tight, young ass and brought Tabari into a doglike position, rocking between the two older men. Tabari knew what was coming and spread his legs wider, relaxing his ass in anticipation and invitation. Wetting his thick cock, Hasan poured himself inside the sweet chocolate tunnel, feeling Tabari’s heat and excitement throbbing through him.

Tabari moaned with pleasure and rocked steadily between the two – Rauf’s cock in his mouth, Hasan’s thick dick filling his ass. Closing his eyes, he gave himself totally to the moment, to the sensation. Growling with pleasure, the tanned, stocky Hasan cupped one hand beneath the young man’s belly, taking his throbbing dick into his hand and allowing it to rub up and down his palm with the motion of the three of them rocking together.

Feeling himself coming closer to climax, Rauf pumped up into Tabari’s welcoming throat. The heat and wet felt good, but he wanted that tight ass. He nudged the young man up. Tabari grinned at him, bright white teeth in a wide smile. Hasan allowed him to slip away, turn, and then seat himself slowly, taking Rauf’s long, hard pole deep inside of him. His legs tucked beneath him, he was able to make easy, short strokes, taking Rauf deep and squeezing hard with his ass.

The rather unkind thought crept through his head that Rauf’s wife was surely not as tight as he, after all those children. Tabari smiled in secret pleasure and squeezed tighter as he rubbed himself down into Rauf’s scratchy pubic hair.

Hasan stood at the foot of the bed, his thick dick in his hand. Tabari leaned forward enough to take it into his mouth, the width of it stretching his jaws painfully, yet the fullness excited him. Once again, he was stuffed, front and back, and loving it. With care he made small movements to excite the two older men as they fucked him from below and in front, thrusting inside of him.

Filled with male flesh, surrounded by the heat and smell of men, Tabari grabbed his own hard dick and began to stroke himself fast and hard. His excitement made him even tighter, painfully so with Rauf so deep within him and yet in the pain was even more pleasure as the dark man thrust even deeper into him. Hands on his hips held him down and steady as that long pole ripped into him.

Hasan choked him with that thick cock, filling his mouth as the head swelled and then in a gush, released hot, creamy sperm. Tabari managed to moan, gulp and gag all at once, reveling in the taste and smell of cum, the feel of it dribbling down his face. He let some of it drool down his chin, wiped his face and then used it to slick down his own cock.

Then, best of all, Hasan knelt and took that hot, young dick into his own mouth, stroking and sucking as Tabari bounced from Rauf’s hard, deep thrusts. Rauf began to growl deep in his chest, ramming his dick deeper and deeper into the young man until with a final snarl he released a hot load into Tabari’s asshole.

The hot cum in his ass, the taste of cum on his lips, and Hasan sucking his dick was too potent a combination for the young man. Tabari cried out, his hands on Hasan’s head, and pumped excitedly into that hot, wet, sucking cave, releasing a stream of cum so heavy that it ran down Hasan’s face and neck as he struggled to swallow it all.

Tabari’s shudders squeezed Rauf’s long dick unmercifully so that he cried out and thrashed and found another few ounces of cum to give up into that tight young ass.

Tabari shuddered and let himself fall backwards to lay on Rauf’s lean chest. Hasan crawled up beside them and they lay together for a few precious, warm moments before going out into the snow again.

Letter to Turkish Government on Violence and Murders Targeting Transgender People

February 22, 2010

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Prime Minister of Turkey
Vekaletler Caddesi Başbakanlık Merkez Bina
P.K. 06573
Bakanlıklar / Ankara

Re: Murders of Fevzi Yener, Derya Y., Şinasi Halimoğlu, and others

Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan:

On behalf of Pembe Hayat, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), we are writing to express our deepest concern over the recent violence and murders targeting transgender people in Turkey.

Two transgender women have been murdered within the past two weeks. The most recent murder took place on February 16, 2010 in the Fatih area of Istanbul. According to reports from Turkish media, a transgender woman known as Aycan (legal name Fevzi) Yener was stabbed seventeen times and had her throat slit. Her roommate, Seyhan Özmemiş, a 32-year-old woman, was also stabbed multiple times. She has been hospitalized but survived. Eyewitnesses reportedly observed three people fleeing the scene.

On February 8, 2010, an unknown person stabbed to death 35-year old Derya Y. in her home in the Altındağ district of Antalya. According to reports from Turkish lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists, police found Derya Y. in her bedroom with her throat cut and with multiple knife stabs in her face and body. Pembe Hayat, a Turkish transgender rights organization, was informed by friends of Derya Y. that she died due to loss of blood.

Since November 2008, at least eight transgender women have been murdered in Ankara, Istanbul and Antalya. In two cases, suspects were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment. In two other instances, suspects remain in pre-trial detention. The remaining murders are being investigated.

The targeted killing of transgender women is part of a broader pattern of violence against LGBT people in Turkey. On January 28, 2010, colleagues found Şinasi Halimoğlu, a 56 year-old-man, dead on his bed, the victim of multiple knife wounds to his back and neck. According to Turkish media, the alleged murderer informed police that he had arranged a sexual liaison with Halimoğlu with the intent to rob him.

Turkish authorities has an obligation to conduct an effective investigation into all murders of LGBT people and prosecute those responsible, and we acknowledge and are grateful for police efforts to investigate and resolve these crimes. However, it is deeply troubling that incidents of murder and violence against LGBT people in Turkey, especially transgender people, continue unabated [See Appendix 1].

Documentation by Human Rights Watch, Pembe Hayat, and other organizations has established that transgender people face repeated and severe violence from both private citizens and some sectors of the police.[1] All people in Turkey, including transgender people, are entitled to full and equal protection by the law. It is incumbent on your government to address and to combat the conditions that place transgender people at risk of violence.

International inter-governmental bodies have drawn attention to patterns of such violence. For example, the European Commission acknowledged in its 2009 Progress Report on Turkey that transgender people are subject to continued violence in Turkey. It further spelled out that the provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code on “public exhibitionism” and “offences against public morality” are sometimes used to discriminate against LGBT people. It highlighted that the State does not have specific protections against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.[2] More recently, during the 2009 discussion of Turkey’s progress toward EU membership, the European Parliament drew attention to transgender killings.[3]

Turkey’s obligations to take positive steps to protect transgender people’s lives are incorporated in several international human rights instruments.

* a) Working to overcome prejudice, in the general public and in state officials.

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has stated that states must enact “policies and programs geared towards overcoming hatred and prejudice against homosexuals, and sensitizing public officials and the general public to crimes and acts of violence directed against members of sexual minorities.”[4]

Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) calls on states to eliminate “[p]rejudices and customary and other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women.”[5] In its 2005 report on Turkey, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee), that oversees states compliance with CEDAW, called on Turkey to “provide in its next report information, sex-disaggregated statistics and data relating to women in the judiciary, trafficked women and girls, as well as Kurdish women and other groups of women subject to multiple forms of discrimination and their access to health, employment and education, as well as various forms of violence committed against them.”[6]

* b) Other legal measures to ensure investigation and punishment of crimes

Article 4(c) o f the 1993 UN General Assembly Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women urges States to “exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or private persons.”[7]

The United Nations Committee Against Torture, which monitors the implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, clearly indicated in a 2007 General Comment that States need to take legal measures to address violence and ill-treatment toward marginalized populations including LGBT people.[8]

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, recommended in the Issue Paper on Human Rights and Gender Identity that the Council of Europe Member States, “[e]nact hate crime legislation which affords specific protection for transgender persons against transphobic crimes and incidents.”[9] The European Commission (EC) reiterated in Turkey’s 2009 Progress Report Turkey’s international obligation to provide genuine protections to all minorities, including LGBT people.[10] The European Parliament reaffirmed this obligation during its plenary session on February 10, 2010.

In order to end the ongoing violence and murders of transgender people in Turkey, we respectfully urge the Turkish government to take the following measures:

* 1. Ensure an effective investigation into the murders of Fevzi Yener, Derya Y., and Şinasi Halimoğlu, which will be capable of leading to the identification and prosecution of the alleged perpetrator(s) of these crimes. Ensure similar steps are taken in the event of any future crimes against the LGBT community.
* 2. Enact anti-discrimination legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as protected status.
* 3. Collect, analyze and disaggregate national and local data on violence, including violence on the grounds on sexual orientation and gender identity as a recognized category.
* 4. Provide training to law enforcement authorities on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.

1. Include sexual orientation and gender identity in school curricula as a way to combat gender stereotypes.

* 6. Establish permanent communication mechanisms between the police and Turkish LGBT organizations.
* 7. Revise the Law of Misdemeanors (No. 5326) that provides police the option to fine or otherwise treat individuals as criminals on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The vagueness of this law-which purports to “protect public order, general morality, general health, the environment, and the economic order”- allows for prejudicial enforcement by police.

We respectfully request that the Minister of Justice inform us of progress in the criminal investigation into the cases of Fevzi Yener, Derya Y., and Şinasi Halimoğlu. We ask the government to communicate with us as well regarding the above-mentioned recommendations and any other actions taken to stop the murder of transgender people and to protect lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people from violence and discrimination.

Sincerely,

Baris Sulu
Chairperson
Pembe Hayat LGBTT Solidarity Association

Cary Alan Johnson
Executive Director
International Gay and Lesbian human Rights Commission

Evelyne Paradis
Executive Director
ILGA-Europe

CC:

Mr. Sadullah Ergin
Minister of Justice
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70

Mr Beşir Atalay
Minister of Interior
Fax: + 90 312 418 17 95

Mr. Oğuz Kağan Köksal
Director General of the Turkish National Police
Fax: +90 312 425 6520

Mr. Zafer Üskül
Turkish National Assembly Human Rights Investigative Commission
Fax: +90 (312) 420 53 94

Mr. Burhan Kuzu
Turkish National Assembly Commission on Constitution
Fax-Tel: +90 312 420 53 21

Scott Long
Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch

APPENDIX 1

* 1. On June 29, 2009, Hadise was murdered in her house in Istanbul. Turkish LGBT organizations have no further information on this case.

* 2. On May 22, 2009 Çağla, born under the name İlyas Çağan, was murdered in her house in Ankara. Police arrested a suspect and an Ankara court found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

* 3. 25-year old Melek Köklü, born under the name Turgut Köklu, was stabbed to death in front of her house in Ankara on April 11, 2009. Police arrested a suspect and an Ankara court sentenced him to life imprisonment for murder.

* 4. 38-year old Eda Yıldırım was found dead on March 23, 2009 in Bursa. Her head and her genitals were cut from her body. Police captured a suspect who is currently being prosecuted. In court, the prosecutor asked for life imprisonment

* 5. On March 10, 2009, 28-year old Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist, was stabbed to death in her home in Cihangir, a neighborhood in central Istanbul. Prior to her murder, Soykan had asked the Prosecutor’s Office for protection from a man who had beaten her on several occasions and threatened to kill her in her home. The alleged killer confessed and surrendered, and is currently subject to prosecution.

* 6. On the night of November 10, 2008, an unknown man shot Dilek İnce, a transgender woman while she was in her car in the İskitler-Etlik district in Ankara. An eyewitness told Turkish LGBT organizations that she saw two men in a black car shooting İnce. Doctors found eight shots in her head. Dilek İnce was one of the witnesses in a series of attacks against transgender women living in Eryaman in 2008. Police have not found the killers.

[1] Human Rights Watch, “We need a Law for Liberation:” Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights in a Changing Turkey, May 21, 2008, available at:

http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/05/21/we-need-law-liberation-0; IGLHRC, “Turkey: Change Law of Misdemeanors to End Abuse of Trans People,” November 19, 2009, available at http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/globalactionalerts…. These reports also address instances where the police have used the Law of Misdemeanors (No. 5326) to target the LGBT community.

Turkish LGBT Rights Platform, “Press Release on Murder of Dilek Ince,” November 12, 2008, available at http://www.ilga-europe.org/europe/guide/country_by_country/turkey/protes… LGBTT Rights Platform of Turkey, Statement regarding a Transgender Murder in Ankara, May 22, 2009, available at http://news.kaosgl.com/item/2009/5/26/again-a-transgender-murder-in-turk… Human Rights Watch, Turkey: Transgender Activist Murdered, March 12, 2009, available at http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/03/12/turkey-transgender-activist-murder….

[2] Commission of the European Communities, Turkey 2009 Progress Report,, SEC(2009)1334, November 14, 2009, p. 26, available at http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2009/tr_rapport_2009_e….

[3] See European Parliament, “Resolution P7_TA-PROV(2010)0025,” February 10, 2010 on Turkey’s progress report 2009, available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-T…. The European Parliament asked Turkey to “continue and intensify its efforts to fully meet the Copenhagen criteria and to bring Turkish society together in support of the necessary reforms, uniting it on the basis of the equality of every human being irrespective of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;” It also manifested its concern “about the lack of guarantees against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” calling on Turkey to “ensure that discriminatory provisions are removed from legislation and that hatred and violence based on homophobia are duly punished;”

[4] Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2002/74, January 9, 2002, para. 148.

[5] Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), G.A. Res. 34/180, U.N. Doc. A/34/46, acceded by Turkey on December 20, 1985, article 5(a).

[6] Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Turkey, sixtieth session, A/60/38, January 2005, para. 381.

[7] General Assembly, Resolution 48/104, adopted on December 20, 1993, available at http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/(symbol)/a.res.48.104.en

[8] Committee Against Torture, General Comment 2, Implementation of article 2 by States Parties, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/GC/2/CRP. 1/Rev.4 (2007), para. 21, available at http://hrlibrary.ngo.ru/cat/general_comments/cat-gencom2.html.

[9] Gender Identity and Human Rights Issue Paper (2009) p. 44, available at https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1476365

[10] See above fn 2; Gay and Lesbian Rights Intergroup, “European Parliament reaffirms LGBT rights are a condition to join the European Union,” February 18, 2010, available at http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/news.php.
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Pattern of murder continues in Turkey

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Pattern of murder continues in Turkey

Since November 2008, at least eight transgender people have been murdered in the Turkish cities of Ankara, Istanbul, and Antalya. From The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC):

“The most recent killing was of a transgender woman called Aycan Yener on Feburary 16, 2010, in the Fatih area of Istanbul. Yener, whose legal given name was Fevzi, was killed in her apartment. Her throat was slit, and she was stabbed 17 times. Assailants also stabbed her roommate, Seyhan [Ozmemis], 32, who survived. According to Turkish media, witnesses reportedly observed three people fleeing the scene, but no one has been arrested.

On February 8, Derya Y., a 35-year old transgender woman, was killed in her home in the [Altindag] district of Antalya. Police found Derya Y. in her bedroom with her throat cut and multiple knife stab wounds to her face and body.”

These targeted killings have become part of a broader pattern of ongoing violence and hate against the Turkish LGBT community. On 28 January, Turkish police reportedly found 56-year old Sinasi Halimoglu, who had arranged a date with another man, stabbed to death in his own home.

The organization Pembe Hayat (Pink Life), the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), the IGLHRC, and Human Rights Watch have jointly sent a letter to the Turkish government condemning the recent attacks. No laws exist in Turkey that protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, education, housing, health care, public accommodations, or credit. Without this legislative protection, the Turkish community as a whole will continue to be victim to murderers who, more often than not, believe they are doing a service to society by killing our Turkish brothers and sisters.

At the very least, voice your anger, folks. It has been said that one personal letter of protest represents the opinions of approximately 10,000 citizens. Imagine the difference that you can make…

Turkey: Stop Violence Against Transgender People

ANKARA, Feb. 22, 2010 – The recent murders of two transgender women in Turkey highlight an ongoing pattern of violence and the urgent need for stronger protection measures by the government, four Turkish and international human rights organizations said today in a letter to Turkish authorities.

The groups called on Turkey to remedy the conditions that place transgender people at risk from acts of violence by enacting anti-discrimination protections, instituting programs to combat prejudice and hatred, and repealing laws that provide an opportunity for police to harass stigmatized groups. The letter was sent by Pembe Hayat “Pink Life,” Human Rights Watch, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).

“Protecting people and preventing violence means more than investigating after the fact,” said Juliana Cano Nieto, researcher in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch. “Without meaningful government action to affirm their rights and ensure their safety, transgender people in Turkey will continue to live in fear.”

Since November 2008, at least eight transgender people have been murdered in Istanbul and Ankara. The most recent killing was of a transgender woman called Aycan Yener on Feburary 16, 2010, in the Fatih area of Istanbul. Yener, whose legal given name was Feyzi, was killed in her apartment. Her throat was slit, and she was stabbed 17 times. Assailants also stabbed her roommate, Seyhan Ozmemiş, 32, who survived. According to Turkish media, witnesses reportedly observed three people fleeing the scene, but no one has been arrested.

On February 8, Derya Y., a 35-year-old transgender woman, was killed in her home in the Altındag district of Antalya. Police found Derya Y. in her bedroom with her throat cut and multiple knife stab wounds to her face and body.

The targeted killings of transgender women are part of a broader pattern of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Turkey. According to Turkish media, the police found 56-year-old Şinasi Halimoglu, who had arranged a date with another man, dead on his bed on January 28 with multiple knife wounds to his back and neck.

In the wake of the killings, the police have made efforts to investigate and resolve these crimes. In two of the earlier cases, suspects were caught and prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison, and in two other cases suspects are in pre-trial detention. The remaining murders are being investigated. However, little has been done to protect LGBT people in Turkey, especially transgender people, from future acts of violence, the groups said.

In the letter, the organizations recommended:

* Enacting anti-discrimination legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as a legal protection;
* Disaggregate statistics on violence figures that show violence against LGBT people; and
* Instituting consistent communication between the police and LGBT rights groups.

“All citizens of Turkey, including transgender citizens, are entitled to live without fear of murder or persecution,” said Hossein Alizadeh, coordinator of IGLHRC’s Middle East and North Africa program. “The homophobic killings need to stop, and for this we need the Turkish government to take concrete action to protect transgender people.”

European bodies have called on Turkey, a member of the Council of Europe, and on other states to protect LGBT people from violence. The European Union, to which Turkey is seeking admission, adopted a progress report this month, reminding the Turkish government of the need to safeguard all minorities, including LGBT people. Similarly, in 2009, the commissioner for human rights in the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, urged all member States to enact legislation that would protect transgender people from attacks and violence.

“The Turkish government should stop ignoring demands by Pembe Hayat and other LGBT’s in Turkey to take measures to stop ongoing transgender killings,” said Kemal Ordek, member of Pink Life. “The Constitution and the Penal Code need to guarantee equality and non-discrimination. The Government in turn needs to stop hate murders against transgender people and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Human rights groups like Pembe Hayat have documented a long history of police abuse in Turkey, as well as violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity by state and private actors. In 2008, Human Rights Watch issued reports on violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and on police violence, including harassment and abuse against transgender people in Istanbul.

ILGA-Europe will visit Turkey in April to assess Turkey’s compliance with its European and international human rights obligations toward LGBT people and to document the violence, discrimination, and other obstacles they face in Turkey. The organization has asked the authorities to discuss proposed measures to address the human rights concerns of the Turkish LGBT population.

“Turkey is witnessing ongoing violence and hate against LGBT people,” said Silvan Agius, ILGA-Europe’s senior policy officer responsible for transgender equality. “The Turkish government’s response needs to address the problems at their roots by tackling the severe stigma against LGBT people, social exclusion and poverty on the one hand, and the culture of gender stereotypes that is driving the violence and hate on the other.”

Violence against transgenders condemned

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Human rights advocates say recent violent deaths of two transgender Turkish women show a pattern of brutality and are calling for stronger protection measures.

At least eight transgender people have been killed in Istanbul and Ankara since November 2008. The most recent victim had her throat slit and was stabbed 17 times in her apartment Feb. 16.

Authorities say they suspect the same assailants also stabbed her roommate who survived the attack, Human Rights Watch reported Monday.

The organization — along with the European Region of the International Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission — wrote to Turkish authorities calling for programs to combat prejudice and hate.

The letter urged repeal of laws allowing police to harass stigmatized groups, HRW said.

“Protecting people and preventing violence means more than investigating after the fact,” Juliana Cano Nieto of Human Rights Watch said. “Without meaningful government action to affirm their rights and ensure their safety, transgender people in Turkey will continue to live in fear.”

The European Union, to which Turkey is seeking admission, has reminded the country of its need to safeguard all minorities including lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.

Turkey is secular, but really now…

February 18, 2010

I am not an expert on Turkey and I know that. However, I have been to Istanbul twice and, on one occasion, had a chance to talk to some pretty well informed people — Muslims and Christians — about the situation there.

Turkey is secular, but really now…

Turkey is secular, but really now…

Here is what I heard, basically. Turkey retains its pride in its secular approach to life and government. However, the overwhelming reality is that more traditional forms of Islam are growing in influence and power. This creates tensions which are easy to see. Enter “Turkey? and “headscarf? into Google and see for yourself.

So the secularism is on the surface and, from time to time, this leads to trouble with religious minorities that struggle in what is actually an overwhelmingly Muslim culture, with its own unique history. Ask the Armenians. Ask the Eastern Orthodox bishops associated with the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Tensions also exist with other minorities who clash with the cultural norms.

This brings us to a Washington Post story that ran the other day under this headline: “Dissident Iranians find refuge in Turkey.? While the story deals with several issues that are driving people out of Iran and into Turkey, the emphasis is on the plight of Iranian gays and lesbians and, to a lesser degree, feminists. Here is a sample passage:

Clutching his cellphone, his main link to the country he fled to escape arrest late last year, Hamid Safari walked past storefronts in the southern Turkish city of Isparta. Alternately playing back downloaded images of Iranian street protests and songs by Madonna and Beyonce, he ignored the curious stares of passing Turks. His long, flowing hair and well-groomed eyebrows are telltale signs of gay men in Iran.

“I try to blend in,? said Safari, 25. “But there is only so much I can do to avoid notice.?

One of 1,356 Iranian refugees who have fled into Turkey since June, Safari is seeking asylum overseas. Some have paid smugglers $1,500 or more to spirit them out of Iran; others risk arrest and deportation by attempting to cross directly into Western Europe. Still others, like Safari, arrive at the Turkish border and hope for the best — Turkey is one of the few nations not to require an entry visa for Iranian citizens.

Since Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, oppression of gays has intensified, according to human rights groups. Many gay refugees here, including several who have been lashed by authorities for their sexuality, said they never labored under the illusion that Ahmadinejad’s rivals would support their cause. But they saw a change in leadership as part of a longer-term solution.

Some basic questions come to mind, start with this rather simple one: What was the basis of the persecution in Islamic Iran and how is that linked to the tensions — even if they are milder — in “secular? Turkey?

Clearly there is more to this than religion, but it is hard to imagine that religion plays no role in this story.

So, here is what you do. Take this Post report and put it in the word processor of your choice. Here is what happened when I did this.

Search for “Sharia? — no results found.

Search for “Islam? — no results found.

Search for “Muslim? — no results found.

I would have thought that religion played a role in this story, after discussing some of these issues with people on the ground in Istanbul. I guess I was wrong. I guess I was seeing a ghost or, even, more than one.

Gay in Turkey

20 February 2010

30-05-2008

In the last decade, central Istanbul’s Taksim area – famed for its bars, clubs and liberal lifestyle – has become the centre of the country’s gay community. Numerous gay bars and clubs have opened, and more and more gays from across the country are flocking to Istanbul.

Emre Can

Emre Can

One of them is Emre Can, a 30-year old professional. But earlier this year he got a hard reminder of the risks of being gay in Turkey. He says:

“I was coming home with my boyfriend. Two men followed us. Apparently they saw us kissing so they were offended by that, somehow. They attacked us in the doorway of my boyfriend’s home. They threw a full bottle of beer at us and started yelling and screaming all sorts of slurs. So now I do feel kind edgy when I go outside.”

Emre CanEmre Can had been attacked before, while at university in the provincial city of Eskisehir. According to a report published last week by the US-based Human Rights Watch, Turkey’s gay community lives in a “climate of fear”. Scott long, the author of the report says:

“There is systematic pattern of violence by the police and in the communities. Even in the family, gay men face and transgender people face violence.”Legal
Ironically, Emre Can was saved in this latest attack by two policemen, but Istanbul’s police are accused by Human Rights Watch of carrying out a crackdown on Lambda, one the city’s gay rights groups. Boira Bengisum of Lambda says:

“More than 12 police officers came to our office. They did not find anything that constituted a criminal office. Despite this, they seized documents about our financial systems and membership systems.”While homosexuality is legal in Turkey, police claim Lambda’s premises are being used for prostitution because transvestites and transsexuals were seen visiting the centre. But the raid is the least of Lambda’s worries. A local court this week upheld a petition by Istanbul’s governor to close it down for violating public morality. Lambda is now appealing the case.
Turkey’s loosely worded laws on decency are frequently used by the authorities to crackdown on gay groups. They have started a similar case against Kaos, a gay rights group based in the capital, Ankara.

Visible
But gay rights groups see the closure cases as indication of their success. Mr Bengisun says:

“The pressure against us has increased as we have tried to become more visible. If we live behind closed doors, nobody would say anything to us. If we want the state to recognize us, our sexual orientation and our gender identities, then pressure increases at the same level. They don’t want us to be visible in society or on the streets.” Hammer
In Ankara earlier this month, gay rights activists staged an anti-homophobia summit. The meeting was even attended by the head of the parliamentary human rights commission of the ruling Islamist AK party, despite strong condemnation from the religious media. But the government is still under pressure to rein in its security forces. Scott Long of Human Rights Watch says:

“In Ankara there is a special police team called Balyoz, which means hammer, and again and again transgender people told us that they’ve been beaten up and raped by this police team. Its goal is to clean the city centre of transgender people. And most conspicuous of all: the government does not intervene to stop it.”

It is not difficult to find accusations of police brutality from the country’s transsexual and transvestite community. With her striking long red ginger hair 50-year-old transsexual Gul is a well-known figure in the city’s transvestite community.

“A couple a weeks ago I was sitting at home late at night when I heard a banging on my door. When I opened the door, there were a dozen armed police. They searched my house without a warrant and took me to the police station; I wasn’t even allowed to speak to my lawyer. Ever since last year’s new anti-terror law, which gives the police power to enter anyone’s home without a warrant. They have been using this against people like ourselves.”The security forces refused to comment, but in the past they have strongly rejected charges of prejudice.

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Gay, lesbian films no longer a problem for Turkish audiences

19 February 2010

February 17 2010

When films around the theme of gays and lesbians began to screen nine years ago in Turkey, it caused a public debate. But !f International Independent Film Festival proceeded to feature them despite some negative public reactions

Nine years ago, Turkey’s first independent film festival, !f Istanbul, added a special section titled “Rainbow,? highlighting the Turkish taboo on freedom of sexual expression.

Sexuality is still regarded as a taboo in Turkish society. People are still marginalized and excluded from society for their sexual preferences. When the film festival included the new category in its program shining light on alternative lifestyles, the issue created a stir in public opinion.

The films in this section were very different from others in terms of their plots, as the section aimed to bring Turkish audiences together with productions of international directors highlighting different sexual alternatives.

Despite harsh criticism from the public, the festival management did not step down. The section was expected to be followed by mostly gays and lesbians, but it has drawn interest from many festival attendants. Turkish cinema audiences have succeeded at dropping societal taboos and becoming a tolerant audience for the “Rainbow? films along with gays and lesbians.

They said it was too risky

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, the festival’s co-director Serra Ciliv said: “When we first started, lots of people told us to give up on the Rainbow theme idea. They said it was too risky.?

Despite these warnings, Ciliv said festivalgoers provided the best answer. “Our audience’s response was incredibly positive. The Rainbow section has been a festival staple since our first year. We felt it was important in terms of creating visibility and awareness and to help promote tolerance for different kinds of lifestyles. Turkey is changing fast; it is not just the festival. We have a young and dynamic population.?

Homophobic view on different lifestyles

Speaking about the festival, Begüm Baştaş, a representative of Lambdaistanbul, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, solidarity association, said: “The increase of such festivals is important in terms of visibility. Audiences realize social problems thanks to these films.?

Like Baştaş, Uğur Yüksel, who represents the International Flying Broom Women’s Festival, thinks the festival has an important role in terms of visibility. He said there was a homophobic approach to gay and lesbian films nine years ago, adding that many films could not have been screened because of this approach.

He said the situation was overcome in recent years, but problems continue. “Because of both commercial and moral principles, the only space for gay and lesbian films is festivals. But the number of these festivals that add these type of films to their program is almost nonexistent,? he said, adding that the Flying Broom in Ankara and !f International Film Festival in Istanbul are doing their best. “But unfortunately Bursa and Antalya film festivals have not paid any attention to it.?

Our directors hesitate

Özcan Alper, who has won many national and international awards for his film “Sonbahar? (Autumn), pointed out another fact about gay and lesbian films in Turkey. He said Turkish directors had a different point of view on life. “Unfortunately, our directors have hesitated on some issues. There are already very few films in Turkish cinema. This is why the variety of plots is too limited.?

Theater director Dilruba Saatçi, who recently staged a play on the topic of transsexuals called “Üç Kuruşluk Mahalle Dersleri,? said she believed prejudice could be removed as high quality and sincere art products are made.

Alex Sabuncu, a citizen who does not hide his homosexual identity, said the use of gay and lesbian themes in festivals created empathy and removed prejudices to some extent. “This society should understand we are a part of this society.?

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