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Satirical Cartoonists Fined For Magazine Cover Suggesting Turkish President Is Gay

Ozer Aydogan and Bahadir Baruter, two Turkish cartoonists working for the satirical paper Penguen, have been slapped with significant fines for creating a caricature of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggesting that he’s gay.

Penguen_erdogan_kapakThe two artists penned a front page picture for the magazine’s August issue last year depicting the president meeting with a governmental official while making a an ‘O’ with his free hand near his groin. The gesture, according to Hurriyet Daily News, is commonly associated with gay men and is often used to insult other people.

The artists’ trial went to court earlier this month and within days both were charged with 14-month stints in prison. Because of their civil behavior in court, the initial charges were lowered once down to 11 months and 20 days and then once again to 7,000 Turkish Lira.  

Though neither of the cartoonists were present for their trials, they’ve explained publicly that the intention behind depicting Erdoğan making the symbol wasn’t to draw attention to his sexuality, but rather to highlight how his office had made a habit of harassing journalists and other critics.

In 2006 Erdoğan sued Penguen for some 40,000 Lira for publishing a cover in which he was depicted as a number of different animals. Erdoğan has also gone after slightly less high-profile figures, threatening a former Miss Turkey winner for criticizing him on Instagram and sending police to the house of a teenager who tweeted his negative opinions of the president.

Europe's Top Human Rights Court Waives Sterilization Requirement in Turkish Trans Man’s Gender Reassignment

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against the government of Turkey on Tuesday in favor of a trans man who was denied the right to gender reassignment surgery unless he agreed to undergo sterilization reports Buzzfeed:


The case began in 2005, when a Turkish court ruled that a trans man identified in court documents as Y.Y. could not undergo gender reassignment surgery because he was not infertile, a requirement for gender reassignment under Turkish law. He went to court rather than submit to medical sterilization. A Turkish court ultimately allowed him to move forward with gender reassignment in 2013, but the ECHR still heard his original challenge and awarded him damages of 7,500 euros in damages for the years he was unable to access gender reassignment surgery.

“The respect due to the physical integrity of the concerned party would be in opposition to his having to undergo” sterilization, the court ruled in a unanimous decision, and therefore a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, the treaty on which the ECHR’s authority is based. “The resulting interference in the claimant’s rights with respect to his private life cannot thus be said to have been ‘necessary’ in a democratic society.”

However, the ruling only addresses sterilization requirements, and it does not address other barriers impeding trans people from gender reassignment surgery such as having psychiatric professionals sign off on requests. 

Gay Turkish Couple Stage Symbolic Wedding, Receive Death Threats From Family

Ekin Keser and Emrullah Tuzun

Ekin Keser and Emrullah Tüzün of Istanbul held a symbolic marriage on a ferry in late September to celebrate their love for each other, despite it having no legal significance. However, with the lack of legal recognition comes the lack of legal protections and now both Keser and Tüzün are unemployed, evicted, and facing death threats from their own family members.

The open wedding was featured in the news, and after it took place their landlord evicted the couple. Tüzün also lost his job as a waiter in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district after his boss found out about the wedding, and with Keser spending his time as an undergrad student the two now have no income. To top it all off, they have begun receiving death threats from their families, Tüzün saying,

My family and siblings threaten me with death. When our wedding was featured in the news, our family and friends began rejecting us.

Keser received similar rejection,

We have received the biggest reaction from our families. My family knew that I was homosexual, but they reacted against my marriage.

Fortunately not all of the news is bad. According to Keser, 95% of their friends supported them and their marriage and now the couple just wants their respective families to leave them be.

Documentary 'Golf Alpha Yankee' Exposes Extreme Anti-Gay Laws In Iran: WATCH

Golf alpha yankee

The documentary Golf Alpha Yankee exposes extremely harsh anti-gay laws in Iran.

Homosexuality in Iran is legally punishable with imprisonment, torture and execution.

Golf Alpha Yankee "provides an intimate immersion into the world of LGBT people from Iran, who were forced to flee their home country, and are now waiting in limbo in conservative Turkey as asylum seekers with the United Nations. They hope to receive resettlement in the west, where they may one day be free to love without penalty."

A Kickstarter campaign has been set up to fund the post-production costs of the documentary

Watch the trailer for Golf Alpha Yankee, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Documentary 'Golf Alpha Yankee' Exposes Extreme Anti-Gay Laws In Iran: WATCH" »

News: Russia, Aurora Borealis, Gay Pride In The Muslim World, Gay Marriage

RoadRussia's anti-gay law one year out: "Only a few people were fined throughout the year and this might not seem to be much of a problem," Lokshina said. "But the fines are not what this law is about. This law is not only contrary to Russia's international obligations but has also contributed to anti-gay violence and to creating a hostile environment for LGBT people in the country. It has contributed to stigmatizing LGBT individuals as unnatural, perverse and as acceptable targets."

Space RoadAmazing vine of aurora borealis from space

RoadMisterbnb: an Airbnb for gay men

RoadInstagram removes pictures of gay newlyweds kissing then restores it, apologizing for the error. 

Road'Community' makes move to Yahoo! for sixth season.

RoadIstanbul, Turkey saw strong turnout at its LGBT Pride celebration over the weekend, making it perhaps the biggest such event in a predominantly Muslim country. 

RoadRobin Williams enters rehab to help maintain sobriety.

RoadMeanwhile, Shia LaBeouf reportedly has entered rehab for other reasons

RoadKevin Kline plays Errol Flynn in 'The Last of Robin Hood.'

RoadMichael Egan, who brought suit against Bryan Singer and three Hollywood execs alleging sexual abuse, dropped his suit against Broadway producer Gary Goddard.  

RoadCreate your own gay marriage ruling

RoadDaniel Radcliffe and golden retriever make cute couple

RoadWhitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina lashes out at Angela Bassett for not casting her to play her mother in Lifetime biopic that marks Bassett's directorial debut. 

Glas RoadBradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender hang out at Glastonbury Music Festival.

RoadTaschen publishes (work unfriendly) book "My Buddy" chronicling close, often homo-erotic relations between soldiers in World War II.

RoadJoan Rivers officiates surprise gay wedding at book signing

RoadJustin Bieber up to his shirtless selfie antics again.

RoadSwedish soccer coach Pia Sundhage talks about being out in sports: "If I’m gay is of no interest because I’m a coach and my private life doesn’t matter," she says. "If people ask me about it, I answer 'Yes I’m gay' and that’s how it is. I’ve never come across any trouble for it as a coach in the United States or anywhere. It was tough when I was twenty-years-old in Sweden, but even then I didn’t care. This is me. Take it or leave it."

Turkish Police Force 'Weeded Out' Gay Officer

Turkish PoliceIn 2009 in Istanbul, security forces raided the home of a police officer responding to a tip that he was in possession of illegal pornography. None was uncovered, but some evidence was found that suggested that the officer was gay.

After the resulting internal investigation, he was fired from his job for “[Committing] disgraceful and shameful acts that conflict with the quality of a public servant.” The officer filed suit to be returned to his duties, and his case went through several appeals over the years The 8th Administrative Court in Istanbul dismissed the case, but a judge for the Council of State determined his behavior fell within the scope of private life, which is protected by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

However, the 12th Chamber of Council of State unanimously ruled to decline the officer’s request for a stay of execution to stop his dismissal. The Interior Ministry, who fired the officer, wrote an opinion letter on the matter still standing by their original action, stating (bolding mine): 

There is no doubt that practicising [sic] public duty through civil servants who have lost the required reputation would shake the individuals’ trust in the administration and lead to undesirable developments in the relationship between people and the administration. The law takes precautions to prevent such a danger and stipulates the weeding out of these kinds of public servants from the administrative organs through their dismissal.


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