Turkey Book Talk episode #44 – MAX HOFFMAN on “TRENDS IN TURKISH CIVIL SOCIETY,” a joint report published by the Center for American Progress, the Istanbul Policy Center, and the Italian think tank IAI.

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Here’s a link to the report itself.

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Cenk Özbay and Ayşecan Terzioğlu, editors of “The Making of Neoliberal Turkey,” join for the latest episode of Turkey Book Talk.

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Here’s the article on the Erdoğan-supporting LGBT group I mentioned during the conversation.

Also, here’s another heads up for the new Twitter account, which wants/needs followers @TurkeyBookTalk.


If you enjoy or benefit from this podcast and want to support independent podcasting, click here to make a small or large monetary donation to Turkey Book Talk via Patreon.

Many thanks to my current supporters Özlem Beyarslan, Steve Bryant, Celia Jocelyn Kerslake and Aaron Ataman.

I’ve been walking in north Wales so haven’t had chance to post this piece I wrote on Turkey’s nervous LGBTIs and the “perils of visibility.” Clouds have darkened in recent weeks for LGBTIs in Turkey after last month’s police crackdown on the annual Pride March and a broader uptick in violent incidents and homophobic rhetoric.

The paradox I try to explain in the article is that this has accompanied an increasingly vocal LGBT rights activism that has flourished in the country over the past couple of decades:

“Yeşim Başaran, who works at LGBTI rights group Lambda Istanbul, agrees that a ‘conservative resistance’ has arisen in response to the campaign for recognition. ‘The two things have happened at the same time. The issue of LGBTI rights has become more visible in the media and activists have become more vocal. Opposition parties have nominated gay candidates in elections and have LGBTI people working in their party organizations. That would not have happened a few years ago,’ she says. ‘Life for LGBTIs in Turkey was never easy. They already were subject to attacks in public and within their families. They were at risk of being fired from their jobs or committing suicide. But in the last few weeks it has become more concrete.'”

Read the whole piece at Balkanist.

Istanbul's 2013 Pride March, in happier times. Source: Wikipedia Commons.

Istanbul’s 2013 Pride March, in happier times. Source: Wikipedia Commons.

It was particularly interesting to meet the pro-Erdoğan AK-LGBTI group. Many people assumed they were trolls, but I can confirm that they are serious and in the process of becoming a legally recognised “dernek” (association). Turkey is certainly full of surprises.

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