Turkish LGBT organization lashes out at TV homophobia

Posted on 22 Jun 2006 at 2:49pm
By Staff Reports

Radio & Television Supreme Council cautions TV fashion program found guilty for legitimizing homosexuality.

Turkey’s Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Researches and Solidarity Association has accused the Radio and Television Supreme Board of “going too far” by recently issuing a caution based on moral grounds regarding a fashion show screened on a private television station.

The radio and television board, the highest level authority in Turkey that monitors all radio and television programs, issued a warning on fashion designer Barbaros Sansal’s “Pin” program on Haber Turk television channel concluding that Sansal “using the flexible language structure of Turkish, had made jokes related to homosexuality and through these jokes wanted to reflect homosexuality as a legitimate act to the society.”

The board said this violated the law that said all radio and television broadcasts in the country had to be conducted “in the framework of a public service abiding with general morality.”

The gay association said the board had gone too far this time and “acted according to personal concepts and values” outside of the scope of its authority.

The association argued that legitimacy was a social concept and has nothing to do with laws while there was no legal sanction against homosexuality. It said the board was trying to display homosexuality as “illegitimate” with its decision.

“As an institution carrying out a public service, instead of taking decisions against homosexuals RTKU [the board] should show reaction to homophobic programs towards homosexual men and women who are part of the society,” the gay association statement said. Noting that jokes, degradation and insults of homosexuality were widespread, the association said “RTKU is watching as sexist and homophobic jokes are branding homosexuality and homosexual citizens, degrading them, making them targets. It is helping these to spread.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 23, 2006.

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