LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

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Strengthening Communities: A Recap of Recent Meetings with Turkish Member Organizations

10 Apr

In the past weeks, our team had the privilege to engage with esteemed member organizations from Turkey, including the 17 May Association, GALADER, and Kaos GL. These meetings are crucial in fostering collaboration, sharing insights, and charting pathways for collective progress. Here’s a glimpse into the enriching discussions and initiatives that unfolded during these sessions:

17 May Association: Empowering Communities and Advocating for Rights

During our interaction with the 17 May Association, we learned about their dynamic initiatives aimed at fostering inclusivity and amplifying the voices of the LGBTI+ community in Turkey. 

One of the cornerstone projects of the 17 May Association revolves around community empowerment through targeted interventions. By addressing diverse issues such as aging, local governance, and climate advocacy, they seek to strengthen the capacity of individuals and groups to advocate for their rights effectively. 

Looking ahead, the 17 May Association is gearing up for a series of engaging activities, including the upcoming ‘Inclusion at Work’ event, where they will unveil groundbreaking insights on improving workplace inclusivity for LGBTI+ individuals. Additionally, their innovative projects, such as the ‘Poverty Studies’ community and the intergenerational communication event, underscore their commitment to holistic empowerment and social cohesion.

In fostering regional collaboration, the 17 May Association expressed a keen interest in strengthening ties with the European region and leveraging shared experiences to advance LGBTI+ rights. Through strategic partnerships and advocacy efforts, they aspire to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

GALADER: Nurturing Dialogue and Advocacy Amidst Challenges

Our dialogue with GALADER shed light on their commitment to advancing LGBTI+ rights in Turkey amidst evolving societal dynamics. At the forefront of their activities lies an approach including the helpline services, family meetings, and informative sessions to foster greater understanding and support for the LGBTI+ community.

An upcoming highlight on GALADER’s agenda is the envisioned Conference, aimed at countering populist narratives and promoting inclusive policies, particularly concerning family dynamics. Despite facing funding challenges, GALADER remains resolute in their efforts to convene stakeholders and drive meaningful change. They expressed a strong desire to collaborate with ERA and explore avenues for financial support to realize this impactful initiative.

Moreover, GALADER highlighted the importance of inclusive policy making and community engagement, advocating for greater representation and participation of parent organizations in relevant discussions and initiatives. They emphasized the need for enhanced visibility and support from international platforms like ERA to address pressing issues and strengthen organizational resilience amidst growing socio-political pressures.

In navigating the intricacies of advocacy and capacity-building, GALADER noted the critical role of collaboration and knowledge exchange in shaping a more equitable and rights-affirming landscape. Their unwavering dedication to amplifying marginalized voices and challenging discriminatory norms serves as a beacon of hope in Turkey’s journey towards inclusivity and social justice.

Kaos GL: Pioneering Advocacy and Empowerment

Our engagement with Kaos GL provided valuable insights into their pivotal role as a resource organization and advocate for LGBTI+ rights in Turkey. In a strategic partnership with the 17 May Association, Kaos GL has transitioned counseling services to facilitate greater accessibility and effectiveness in supporting the community.

Kaos GL’s diverse array of activities encompasses vital areas such as Refugee LGBTI+ support, local governance, capacity building, and cultural studies. Despite facing funding constraints, they continue to deliver impactful initiatives, including the preparation of Shadow Reports and collaborative projects with ERA.

During the meeting, Kaos GL proposed several avenues for collaboration and support from ERA, including the creation of fundraising groups, regional research reports, and practical information notes. They emphasized the importance of enhancing engagement in international mechanisms and advocated for increased representation of LGBTI+ subjects in institutional settings.

Moving forward, Kaos GL envisions joint initiatives with ERA to address pressing challenges, foster dialogue, and advocate for the rights and well-being of LGBTI+ individuals in Turkey and beyond.

Moving Forward: A Collective Call to Action

As we reflect on the insights gleaned from our interactions with Turkish member organizations, it is evident that concerted efforts and strategic collaborations are essential to effecting meaningful change. By amplifying marginalized voices, fostering dialogue, and advocating for inclusive policies, we can collectively build a more just and equitable society for all.

We extend our gratitude to the 17 May Association, GALADER, and Kaos GL for their invaluable contributions and unwavering dedication to advancing LGBTI+ rights in Turkey. Together, let us continue to strive for progress, solidarity, and dignity for every individual, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Stay tuned for further updates on our collaborative endeavors with Turkish organisations and initiatives aimed at fostering positive social change!

Topic - Civil Society / Freedom of Assembly / Human Rights / LGBT
Country - Turkey
Tags - ERA / LGBTI / LGBTI Turkey /