A brief Lecture about the LGBTI History of Today’s Turkey, from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Late Erdogan Era
Wed ,14.6.2023, 6:00pm, Volkskundemuseum Wien
A lecture in English by Beren Azizi
The room of the lecture is wheelchair accessible and there is a wheelchair toilett
In her talk Beren Azizi MA, as Turkish LGBTI activist and historian, will assess the situation of queer people in Turkey nowadays and put their situation under the current regime into a historic context from the Óttoman Empire until now.
“I will not offer you an Ottoman embellishment as post-colonial theories claim. I will not shelve criticism to queerize the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire is not as much a queer-normal-other as it has been claimed in LGBTI historiography so far. Ottoman Empire as the queer-normal-other constructed by post-colonial and queer historiography is a political imagination.”
It is possible to witness for a long time now, that the AKP-MHP coalition government has incited hostility against the LGBTI citizens of Turkey while they declared themselves as the protector of Turkish families, whereas the number of femicides committed by a family member or relative radically increased in Turkey between 2008 and 2021.
On the one hand, they lied and told that the existence of LGBTI people is a threat to the national entity. Therefore they used legal engineering against the rule of law to implement a policy of legitimized-unlawful violence because, without that, an exclusionary citizenship regime can’t be possible: Violence against the “thing”, which is a threat to family and nation, cannot be a hate crime but a self-defense. It is dangerous and has a murderous character.
On the other hand, the AKP-MHP expelled all its enemies – that is, half of the nation not voting for them – out of the so-called real-“nation” cluster. Connected to that, the family has become the center of violence for heterosexual citizens too, especially for women. In a political situation with so many social segments marginalized by the AKP-MHP coalition, wide spaces became possible for the affective intimacy between Turkish queers and anti-AKP citizens. In a sense, being a dissident has become queer.
Beren Azizi did a MA at at the Central European University, Vienna. Her thesis was about “Building the Ottoman Police through Honor: Dismissing
Policemen on the Grounds of Marrying “Unchaste” [iffetsiz] Women in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries”. Her resarch areas of interest are:
19th Century Ottoman History; Modern Turkish History; Ottoman and Turkish
Police History; Honour and Violence Studies in the Mediterranean; Gender History; Masculinity Studies; The History of Masculinities; LGBTI+ History of Modern Turkey; Trans Women’s Studies; Citizenship Studies; Democratization;
Secularism and Turkish Islam; Cinema, TV, and Digital Media.
You are welcome to visit before the lecture the new exhibition of the Queer Museum Vienna and more than welcome to join us after for a drink, either in the lecture-hall or in the garden.
This lecture is supported by