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Freedom of the Press

in TURKEY, 25/07/2006

Gay and Lesbian Magazine Banned in Turkey

Kaos GL magazine is banned! The 28th Summer 2006 issue of Kaos GL, the only homosexual magazine in Turkey, has been confiscated by Ankara 12th Justice Court on the same day it was printed. The issue, in which pornography is questioned and contributed by the figures who are experts in their fields, have been seized because the court deemed that its content is 'pornographic.'

July 24 Press Festival surprise from Ankara Republican Prosecutor's Office for Kaos GL!

Judge Tekman Savas Nemli decided on the confiscation and seizure of Kaos GL after Republican Prosecutor Metin Sezgin from the Ankara Chief Republican Prosecutor's Office's Press Crimes Investigation Bureau demanded this in a text dated July 21, 2006 and numbered 2006/1708, because some content and pictures in some texts in a file on pornography in the 28th issue because these were understood to breach protection of general morality.

The decision of the Ankara Chief Republican Prosecutor's Office Press Crimes Investigation Bureau uses the expression that some texts and pictures are against "protection of general morality". But this expression does not state which pictures and texts should be banned on which grounds. Turkey's gay and lesbian magazine has been published regularly since September 1994.

It is the first time that our magazine has been banned on the same day it was delivered from the printing house, even before it was distributed to bookstores. Kaos GL, which started to be published in 1994, was recorded legally at the end of 1999 and the Republican Chief Prosecutor did not find it "pornographic or obscene." Following its registration by officials, two of its issues were distributed in closed envelopes because of the Prime Ministry's Council for Protection of Juveniles from Obscene Publications. Other than this, Kaos GL has not faced any investigation.

Not homosexuals but general morality will change!

This decision, which coincides with the July 24 Press Festival, should be a "surprise" against freedom of expression! The decision is sexist and homophobic. What is attempted to be buried with a siege of 'general morality' is the freedom of expression of Turkish national gay and lesbians.

From the beginning, we have developed arguments and struggled against putting homosexuality in the same category as sexuality and putting sexuality in the same category as pornography. Our right to have our word - which should exist within the framework of freedom of expression - is at the same time gay and lesbians' struggle for existence. It is obvious that not homosexuals but 'general morality' will change.

Not pornpography but criticising and questioning pornography is banned!

Today, the presentation of views on women's bodies with a sexist mentality poses no problem, but scientific, cultural and artistic criticism of pornography via gay-lesbian sexuality is seen and banned as an attitude against 'general morality.'

In the magazine, contributions from writers Ahmet Tulgar, Fatih ZgŸven, GŸner Kuban, Hasan BŸlent Kahraman, Mehmet Bilal Dede, and Meltem Arõkan, painter Taner Ceylan, and photography artist Bikem Ekberzade, discuss the relation of pornography to homosexuality.

In the feature, with the headline "Visuality of
Sexuality, Sexuality of Visuality: Pornography," the doors of the world of pornography that invades the globe are opened and we question how all the images that confuse our minds turn into pornographic elements.

Now with the demand of Ankara Chief Republican Prosecutor and decision of Ankara 12th Justice Court, the examination and questioning of pornography by writers, artists, academics, feminists and gay-lesbian individuals have been banned.

Long Live the July 24 Press Festival!

Kaos GL Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL)
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