The Story of a Street Protest – (Turkey, 2003)

Un scurt metraj despre pregătirile de participare a organizaţiei g/l/b/t LAMDA ISTANBUL la marşul de 1 mai 2003, din Istanbul.

A short film about how „Lambda Istanbul”, a gay/lesbian/bisexual civil rights organization, prepares for and participates in Labor Day (May 1st, 2003) in Istanbul Turkey

About Lambda Istanbul:

partieylulLambda, Istanbul is the largest queer liberation group in Turkey . It was formed by a small number of gays and lesbians as a result of a police ban on Christopher Street Day celebrations in 1993. Since then, Lambda, Istanbul has grown in membership and aims to raise its voice on behalf of the gay communities in Istanbul.

Homosexuality is not a criminal offence in Turkey, but some articles of the highly flexible police regulations can be used very easily to ban meetings and demonstrations on so-called public morality grounds. In 1995 and 1996 Lambda, Istanbul planned activity weeks which would have included gay and lesbian themed films, panels discussions, and exhibitions. On both occasions, they were banned by the police and the Governor of Istanbul, who claimed they were against public morals. The organizing committee was advised by police not to make any further attempts as the Turkish society was not yet ready for the visibility of homosexuality!

Despite this pressure and opposition, we are still carrying out our projects: We work close together with other gay groups in Ankara, called KAOS GL (gay) and Sappho’nun Kizlari (lesbian).  Since Autumn 1998, we together organize national meetings of Turkish gays, lesbians and transgenders. Springs in Ankara, Autumns in Istanbul. It is also supported by Türk Gay, a group of Turkish gays in Germany, Köln.

We support the bi-monthly gay and lesbian magazine KAOS GL, which is out since September 1994. It is available in alternative bookstores in many towns across Turkey.

Together with the AIDS Prevention Society in Turkey, we have prepared the first Safe Sex Brochure addressing gay men.

Our weekly meetings is the only one in Istanbul, where gays, lesbians and transgenders can speak with one another about many themes, that are important for them. It is a place, where people learn to accept themselves and one another, where they may become involved in several social movements, too.

Our support telephone is an important help for people who want  to contact our group or need somebody to talk to.

On first Wednesday of every month, we organize the „Lambda Istanbul Gay & Lesbian Party” in one of the most famous clubs of Turkey, called „Twenty”. It takes place between 9.00 p.m. and 1.00 a.m. and gives us the opportunity to come together in a very nice atmosphere with music & dance! As we get the fee for entrance, the party is also a support for our acitivities and the rent that we have to pay for our weekly meetings. For details look below!

Despite the serious work we do, we are all volunteers, who come together determined to keep on devoloping ourselves, working against our society’s prejudices, homophobia and for a more democratic Turkey with respect to each human beeing.


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