After Istanbul the journey took me to Ankara. The capital of the Turkish Republic. It was not only to visit my sister and some friends, but foremost to witness the courthearing of the case the Turkish state put up against Lambda Istanbul.
Lambda Istanbul is the biggest LGBTQ organisation in Turkey and has done an immense job during the past few years in the whole process of LGBTQ emancipation in Turkish society. No wonder that if Lambda Istanbul would be closed Turkey would lose one of its biggest players on the Human Rights level. The actual charges the Turkish state brought upon Lambda were therfor also ridiculous. In what kind of democracy can an organisation be closed down on charges that the name isn’t Turkish enough and that the organisation would go against the Turkish family values. At least one could say it would be idiotic.
But thank God it didn’t work out. The Turkish state lost the case in the end and Lambda Istanbul was not shut down. What surprised me the most was the amount of people actually present at the courthearing. From all over Turkey people, activists gathered in front of the courtbuilding. All they (and me) wanted to do was to listen to the court and express their support to Lambda Istanbul. More suprising was the reaction of the security forces. Not only did they embarace themselves by trying to chase the activists away, but the amount of security forces shown was again ridiculous. A huge amount of policemen followed the activists whilst they quietly spread into the city.
But still, this looked to me as a kind of intimidation and certainly as a fuck up for the freedom of speech. It was again that kind of Turkisch state that can only survive by intimidating opposition. Is this then that what we would accept into the EU?