2015 Istanbul Pride Week Schedule


Click to download the leaflet in PDF.

*Pride Week’s art exhibition “who would have thought  / nerdeen nereye” will be open to visit in mau mau and Blok Art Space’s galleries between June 22nd and June 30th.


Monday June 22

Workshop: Peer Pressure- A Queer Approach to Physical Education

Time: 14:30 – 16:30
Venue: Maçka Park

We will discuss the humiliation we faced as kids, teens; in school, in class, in break, in our neighborhood, in playgrounds by our peers because of our existence. We call for your participation in the “peer pressure” workshop where we will talk about ways to deal with these situations and our rights.

* Participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes.


Workshop: The Istanbul Pride Week Inventive Occupy Workshop

Time: 15:00 – 17:00
Venue: Nonviolent Education and Research Center

We are in constant struggle with this makeshift system, either as individuals or through organizations. We organize campaigns and events. But are we able to have our voices reach out enough? Are we able to realize the social change we seek? Are we able to represent the worlds we dream of in our insurgence?

We can increase the form and effects of our efforts significantly in events where we employ art and creativity. As such, in this workshop, we as the Nonviolence Center will study various nonviolence techniques and strategies and their practical applications for our struggles.

We invite you to the creative occupy workshop to carry the colors of the rainbow to our struggles.

Participation is limited to 20 people. RSVP to

Nonviolent Education and Research Center (



Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Cezayir Meeting Hall

The Association Against Sexual Violence; Hilal Esmer, Nurgül Özz, Özge Özgüner

The first half of this workshop will discuss forms of and various concepts, myths, and realities related to sexual violence directed against LGBTIQA+ individuals. The second half is reserved for a discussion on methods of tackling sexual violence among LGBTIQA+ individuals and within / between organizations.

We are all potential targets of sexual violence. But we are also potential perpetrators of sexual violence. Numerous forms of violence between LGBTIQA+ individuals or organizations continue to plague our efforts to organize, to hurt us, to dismay us, and to cause activism burnout. We need to face and find practical solutions to both the violences that we experience and the violences that we inflict upon others. At times we prepare resolutions regarding the issue, and at times we expose the perpetrators, or inflict social lynching or social isolation. Let’s come together and discuss the methods of suppression that paralyze us, the ways in which victimization transforms into violence, and other topics that we are afraid to touch upon. Let’s take the steps towards a solution together!


One-Person Show: “I’m not like the men you know”

Time: 20:30
Venue: D22

How sufficient is the human mind in understanding the multiplicity of the universe when it defines itself through the [binary] opposite, the “not”?

How do women, men, and the streets change when the gender that is attributed changes?

What does a trans man experience in his everyday life, in his privacy, and through the opening up process?

When he has the option not to open up, is the trans identity lost in memory when the transition process ends?

Does trans manhood have the means to change manhood?

Berk Inan’s one-person performance, which inquires about the answers to these and similar questions through his life story, attempts to tackle gender trouble through the transparent faces of alterity and through the eyes of trans men.

Tuesday June 23

Workshop: We Confront Our Internalized Prejudices!

Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Venue: Cezayir Meeting Hall

“Normal” is the theme of this year’s Pride Week. As practitioners and students of mental health, we thought that we must reckon with the century old history of ‘disease,’ humiliation and denial again one more time, and we want to discuss and debate how we take this history to be “normal.” We, practitioners and students of mental health (psychology, psychiatry, guidance and counseling, social work) think that it is important for us to confront our own prejudices first as we continue to fight against discrimination against the LGBTI. We invite you to our workshop where we will confront the homophobia, transphobia and biphobia inside us in a fun way through a game of taboo that we ourselves designed. Come, let us discuss the concepts of “normal” and “abnormal” along with our prejudices!


Sexual Health For Lesbians: Myths and Realities*

Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Salt Galata

Moderators: Efsun Sert – Nurgül Özz

The heteronormative health system continues to disregard the right to access both preventive and therapeutic health services of people from different [sic] sexual orientations and gender identities. Vis-a-vis lesbians’ right to access health care, we hope that this workshop will contribute towards changing myths and stereotypes regarding lesbian sexual health, helping lesbians acquire preventive physical and sexual health care behaviors, increasing demands for preventing health care services, and the development of a confident stance by lesbians as they encounter health professionals.

The workshop’s agenda consists of myths and realities regarding lesbian sexuality, sexually transmitted infections, birth control methodologies, kegel exercises, and information regarding breast and cervical cancers. Though we used the above title for visibility purposes, this workshop is open to women who are affected by women, who define themselves as lesbian, bisexual, butch, femme, androgynous, queer, genderqueer, agender, transgender, and those who employ none of these identities and think that the information presented in this workshop is applicable in their lives.

** Registration is required due to limited space. Register at


Movie screening: Revenge and Solidarity in the Frame – Queer Documentaries

Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Salt Beyoğlu

Pink Life QueerFest, which is celebrating its 4th year, joins the 23rd Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week. The documentary selection celebrating LGBTI histories will feature the following films:

  • “Youth in the Frame: the Revenge of the Young Perverts,” a video project by young gay and lesbian activists resisting Thatcher’s oppressive regime;
  • “All Out! Dancing in Doulais,” where the activists from LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) document the painstaking and delicate process of building solidarity with the miners (also portrayed in the much debated movie ‘Pride’);
  • and finally “Eating Fire: My Life As a Lesbian Avenger,” a documentary portraying the many direct action events organized by the US group Lesbian Avengers, ranging from their first pioneering acts in 1992 to the amazing Dyke March where they eat fire in front of the White House.


Panel: Behind the Walls

Time: 18:30 – 20:30
Venue: Cezayir Meeting Hall

Moderator: Rosida Koyucu (Hêvî LGBTI activist)


  • Regarding the issue:

Mustafa Eren (CISST – The Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation)

  • The ministry’s approach on the issue:

Dr. İpek Merçil (Galatasaray University)

We will share the rights violations experienced by people in prison whose stories are narrated in “Voltaçark,” a book about being LGBTI in prison. Through the book, we discuss the needs, problems as well as solutions. We will address the pros, cons, and implications of the “Special” LGBTI-only prison, the construction of which will be completed in 2017.

We discuss the book…

We read the book…

We distribute the book…

Note: Colleagues whose stories are included in the book will also be present. You will have the opportunity to talk about their stories in person.


Workshop: 1973 to Today: To Transverse the Discourses of Illness and Medicalization

Time: 19:30  – 21:30
Venue: Lambdaistanbul

We as mental health employees and students are aware that forms of being/becoming LGBTI are not illnesses. We probably do not behave homophobically as therapists, discriminate as social services specialists, stigmatize our clients as psychiatrists, or exhibit accusatory attitudes to students/consultees as psychological consultants/ guidance counselors.

However, is it sufficient to practice these in a minor facet of our professional lives? We study and work in the field which comes to mind first when one thinks about sexual orientation and gender identity. That is why we believe that it is a responsibility for all of us to produce and practice LGBTI politics in the entirety of our social as well as professional lives. As such, what kind of a discourse can we produce beyond that of “gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and intersex forms of being are not illnesses”? We invite everyone to our workshop organized in collaboration with the Foundation of Psychologists for Social Solidarity (TODAP) and Lambdaistanbul Mental Health Commission.


Party: Kadıköy Street Party

Time: 20:30  – 23:30
Venue: Piriçavuş Street, Kadıköy

On Tuesday night at Kadıköy Piriçavuş Street, as people who take issue with heteronormativity, we will dance and have fun without the fear of harassment, the fear of being alone, feeling strength instead of anxiety as we stand up against those who want to imprison us in our homes, against heterosexuals who think they own life and the streets, and against the people who tell us to remain hidden outside.


Play: “Being Queer [“Lubunya”] in the 80s”

Time: 20:30
Venue: Emek Stage
Duration: 70 minutes

Script: Black Pink Triangle Society – İzmir
Adaptation/Direction: Ufuk Tan Altunkaya , Project Coordinator: Didem Kaplan
Project Consultant: Ozan Ünlükoç , Project Assistant: Ömer Kaan Aydın
Soundtrack: Emre Akad
Performers: Ayşe Gülerman, Burcu Şeyben, Elit Çam, Neşem Akhan

Four trans individuals, youngest of them 50 years old today, retell their personal and public stories of being queer in Turkey.

In the play, four trans individuals tell their stories. They reveal a horrible past in this country through the eyes of queer individuals who have nobody but each other to support them, who struggle to survive in parks, third rate hotels, nightclubs, brothels, out on the streets, in Pürtelaş, on Bayram street, in Dolapdere and inside police stations.

Ufuk Tan Altunkaya carried out the stage adaptation from the book of the same name, published in 2012 by the Black Pink Triangle Society in Izmir. The adaptation text is loyal to the original book and consists entirely of word for word conversations with trans individuals.


Wednesday June 24

Forum: Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week Exhibition… who would have thought

Time: 14:30 – 16:30
Venue: SALT Galata

Accompanying the “who would have thought  / nerdeen nereye” exhibition taking place as part of the Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week; this forum creates opportunity to both examine the artists’ portfolios and discuss the possibilities of queer art in Turkey along with the representation of homoerotic, gay, lesbian and queer art as well as artists’ relationships with established organizations of art and culture. All of artists participating in the exhibition, all members of the selection committee and the exhibition commission as well as the exhibition curator will join the forum. All exhibition goers are welcome to attend.


Documentary Screening: “Les Invisibles” (2012)

Time: 16:30 – 18:30
Venue: French Cultural Center

Director: Sebastien Lifshitz
Documentary, in French with Turkish subtitles
Duration: 1 hour 55 minutes.
No entrance fee.

They are a group men and women born between the two world wars. They have no commonality but being gay and living openly about their homosexuality at a time when society has rejected their very existence. They loved, fought, desired, and made love. Today, they speak about the everyday freedom, which they desired like many others, and the rebellious life that they have created and nurtured. Nothing could have scared them…


Movie Screening: “Eastern Boys” (2013)

Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Venue: French Cultural Center

Director: Robin Campillo
with Turkish subtitles
Duration: 2 hours 8 minutes.
Entrance Fee: 10 TL. (Proceeds go to French Cultural Center, which have paid for the movie’s royalty fees.)

Daniel meets Marek, the young son of an immigrant family, at the Paris train station. Daniel offers him money for sex and they go to Daniel’s house. Marek won’t be alone in this invitation. His Eastern European gang joins him. We witness the destruction of Daniel’s life and his intimacy with Marek.


Dinner Tables against Bombs + Workshop: The Tyranny of Love

Time: 19:00 (dinner table) – 20:00 (workshop)
Venue: Şiddetsizlik Eğitim ve Araştırma Merkezi –

How are boundaries formed in our love relations that are cornered by heterosexism and the binary gender system into the “private sphere”? Do we objectify and suppress while we possess [the other]? How does gender reflect upon our bodies and our relationships when what is at stake is love and passion? How do we decide to experience monogamy / polygamy / polyamory? And how should we approach jealousy?

Wishes for our workshop to be one full of mutual learning, exploration, and sharing. To liberty!

Moderators: Özge & Güray


Genetically Modified Tomato Award Ceremony

Time: 19:30 – 22:30
Venue: Şişli Municipality City Cultural Center

Istanbul Pride Week’s annual Genetically Modified Tomato Awards will be handed out for the 11th time. Candidates who compete with each other in their homophobic and transphobic attitudes are voted for throughout Pride Week and the winners are declared the night of the ceremony. Get ready to throw those tomatoes!


Thursday June 25

Workshop: Disability and LGBTI Workspace at the Verge of Normality and Ability

Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Venue: SALT Galata

Would you like to discuss the points of encounter between two seemingly disconnected movements, that of disability and that of LBGTI, and talk about the experiences with double oppression of the individuals who live in this intersection? Would you like to be updated on our projects on the issue? Let’s meet and realize some of the many activities that sustain the intersection of these two movements, such as audio recording books and learning sign language!

* There will be sign language interpreters present during this event. The workshop venue has disability access.


Forum: Reunion of LGBTI Organizations in Turkey*

Time: 15:30
Venue: SALT Galata

We will hold a forum with the participants from the increasing number of LGBTI formations about their experiences in their cities and the dynamics of the LGBTI movement in Turkey.

*This meeting is supported by Kaos GL within the scope of “Local Anti-Homophobia Meetings Support Program”.


Panel: Violence and LGBTI Rights in the Context of Sex Work

Time: 17:00 – 19:00
Venue: French Cultural Center


  • Kemal Ördek, Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (“Rights based legal support for trans women sex workers who are victims of violence”)
  • Sinem Hun, Lawyer / Nihan Erdoğan, Lawyer, Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (“Rights-based Legal Support for Trans Women Victims of Violence”)
  • Bihter Karal, Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (“Lives Put to the Test of Violence: The Experience of a Trans Woman Sex Worker with Violence”)

This panel is organized around sex work and LGBTI. The panel will specifically focus on topics such as rights violations as they pertain to the LGBTI sex work, the LGBTI policies that are needed in the context of sex work debates, and the overlap and differences between the sex workers’ movement and the LGBTI movement. You may enter the panel by “leaving your whore-phobia [orospufobi] at the door.”

This event is sponsored by the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association.


Workshop: Finding a Lover

Time: 20:30 – 22:30
Venue: TBA via email

So we said “hi” on the app to find a partner or get laid. Then what? What do you do until they come home, how do you get ready? Where do you go for coffee? How do you invite them home? All these and more at this practice workshop.

** Registration is required due to limited space. Register at


Friday June 26

Panel: ProTrans: Trans Violence Watch in Europe and Suggestions

Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Venue: SALT Galata

Moderators: Zeynep Bilginsoy, LGBTI News Turkey

Speakers: Boglarka Fedorko (Transgender Europe); Jelena Vidic (Gayten Serbia); Kemal Ördek (Kırmızı Şemsiye)

Transgender Europe (TGEU) has followed cases of discrimination and violence against trans people in 5 countries as part of the ProTrans: Protecting Trans Victims of Violence in Eastern Europe in collaboration with Turkey’s Red Umbrella Association of Sexual Health and Human Rights. In this panel, Red Umbrella will present the results of and suggested solutions in relation to the rights violation watch project. Transgender Europe will provide a general overview of discrimination and violence against trans people in Europe grounded in the activities of and services provided by the project partners. The Gayten-LGBT from Serbia will share data on violence against trans in the Serbia locality.

* This panel is made possible with the financial support of Red Umbrella Association of Sexual Health and Human Rights.


Panel: LGBTI Struggle at Armenia, the Neighbour

Time: 15:00 – 17:00
Venue: French Cultural Center


  • Nvard Mafaryan, Project Coordinator at Pink Armenia
  • Meltem Naz, Studies in Sexual and Ethnic Identity, Ultrech University
  • Karin Karakaşlı, Journalist and Author

The struggle against homophobia and transphobia in Turkey continues to strengthen. But we still have a long way to go. So when the situation is like this in Turkey, how is it in our neighbor Armenia? What’s the path of the LGBTI rights struggle there and how is it similar and different from Turkey’s?

Unfortunately, the situation in Armenia is not good. According to ILGA-Europe’s annual report, Armenia is 46 in the list of 49 European countries in LGBTI rights (Turkey ranks at 44). Many LGBTI individuals immigrate to other countries to be free.

In the 100th year of the genocide, as Turkey’s LGBTIs, we listen to and stand by the LGBTI rights struggle in Armenia.


Panel: Social and Economical Problems of the LGBTI in Turkey

Time: 15:30 – 17:00
Venue:  SALT Galata

Panelists: Dr. İpek Göçmen (Bosphorus University, Social Policy Forum); Dr. Volkan Yılmaz (SPoD and Istanbul Bilgi University NGO Studies and Research Unit)

This panel will share and open for discussion the results of the study entitled “Social and Economical Problems of the LGBTI in Turkey.” The study was conducted in 2014 with the partnership of SPoD and Bosphorus University Social Policy Forum, under the advisement of Bosphorus University’s Dr. Ayşe Buğra. The study surveyed 2875 participants and additionally included focus groups with a total of 200+ participants from 11 cities. Study results provide comprehensive information regarding the social and economical problems of LGBTI individuals in Turkey.


Themed Forum: “Normal”

Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: SALT Beyoğlu

“Normal,” the topic of our conversation, is also the theme of this year’s 23rd Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week. We will investigate the kinds of norms that LGBTIs encounter in a heteronormative society that is predicated on a binary gender system. We will talk about how such norms are internalized and shape the everyday social life. We will also discuss what homonormativity and transnormativity are.


Panel: Local Administration and LGBTI

Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Venue: Barış Manço Cultural Center, Kadıköy

How visible can we be in the places we live? Can we really live as we want to?

Do municipalities, political parties, institutions, and the parliament know about us?

Where are we in this system in the cities we live in?

Where are we in local administration and how involved are we?

Come and let’s talk about it with our guests.



Time: 21:00
Venue: Mono Bar

No entrance fee.


Party: LGBTİ Pride Week Party

Time: 22:00
Venue: Sahne Tünel

No entrance fee.


Saturday June 27



Time: 13:00 – 18:00
Venue: Maçka Park

We invite you all to our picnic when we can lounge on the green grass and have fun under the trees. Sign language, HIV-awareness, and slogan workshops will be open for participation throughout the picnic.


Workshop: Sign Language

Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Venue: Maçka Park

SPoD Disability and LGBTI Working Group Sign Language Workshop


Workshop: HIV

Time: 15:00 – 16:30
Venue: Maçka Park

Don’t bring any HIVphobia in your picnic basket.

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a health condition that can be diagnosed, treated, and kept under control.

What do we know about HIV? What are our misconceptions about it? How is it transmitted? How does one protect oneself from the virus?

Let’s come together and discuss the answers to these and other questions as we have fun in our picnic. Let’s talk about our phobias, let’s understand HIVphobia.

Let’s protect ourselves from the virus and HIV positive individuals from our prejudices.


Workshop: Deepening the Body; What is the Landscape of My Body?  

Time: 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: SALT Galata

Moderator: Gizem Aksu

This workshop invites participants to journey into the landscape of their body by asking the question: “What is the landscape of my body?” If this landscpae is not expected to be free of pre- and/or self-judgments, is it possible to witness what emerges from each layer that begins to appear through deep listening and feeling/sensing?  Is it possible to let go off meanings and arrive at “the moment”? A discovery that ranges from the daily repertoire of feelings/sensations to the aging traces of the flesh… You are invited to the multiplicity of the landscape of the body marked by all life circumstances; you are invited to dive into the unique geography of each body.

* Please register at by June 26 if you would like to participate in the workshop.


Workshop: Our Slogans!

Time: 17:00 – 18:00
Venue: Maçka Park

We will create new slogans together that we can all chant at the march and maybe these slogans will end up on banners next year.


Workshop: A Queer Tackle To Heteronormatıve Educatıon

Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: SALT Galata

Moderators: Nurgül Öz​z​ – İlksen Gürsoy – Efsun Sert

We live, see, and know the ways in which heteronormative spaces of education trivialize, stigmatize, isolate, renders injurable, and impoverish transgender and intersex students who do not fit into gender norms. Yet, there exist certain responsibilities that lie with education professionals and certain rights to be requested by transgender students to guarantee egalitarian spaces of education. In this workshop, by employing the tools provided by queer theory and critical pedagogy, we aim to develop practical suggestions, materials, and action plans that can transform educational environments in a way that will incorporate transgender ways of becoming. The workshop will be grounded in specific cases. We invite activists, social workers, pedagogues, school counselors, and educators who interact with students and who think about the gender trouble.

* Registration is required because of limited space. Please briefly describe your relationship with the field of education during registration (


Documentary Screening: “Love Hard”


Queer Chat on our BDSM Practices: ‘BitterSweet’*

Time: 18:00 – 21:00
Venue: Salt Galata, Workshop IV

“Love Hard” is a work of docu-portraiture on BDSM and intimacy. In its inquiry into the loves and lives of 5 subjects, it presents unique, articulate, and thoughtful perspectives on how kink can function in our lives – as a practice of art or intimacy, as a mode of expression or release, as an iteration or an obliteration of self, as a way to play, a way to fuck, a way to love, a way to be ordinary.

Sensate Films, Australia / 2014, In Color, DCP, 46’, English

For those who engage in non-normative sexual practices in reality or in fantasy, those who make wild flowers bloom at the boundaries of the body and soul, those who want to share this habitat, its affects, sensations, questions, curiosities but are unable to find the opportunity or space to do so. Come, let’s have a “BitterSweet” queer chat about our BDSM sexualities after watching “Love Hard.”

* ‘AcıTatlı’ (‘BitterSweet’) is an art & educative queer collective on BDSM. (İstanbul)

** Registration is required due to limited space.


Movie Screening: The Queer Shorts

Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: SALT Beyoğlu

Pink Life QueerFest, which returns to Istanbul for the 23rd LGBTI Pride Week, continues the week with queer shorts. Documentaries and shorts from Turkey, Germany, Lebanon and U.S.A. are featured. We examine the empty signifier “normal” this time through this selection.


Performance: iloveyou

Time: 20:00 – 20:30
Venue: D22

Duration: 25 minutes

The ideal conceptualization of love is conceived as being “one” and uniting in one body. With this perception, love becomes a connection characterized by the identicalness of those involved where diversity disappears, and the individuality of two different people no longer exists. From that point, love is no longer an affection that increases the possibilities of movement, but an expectation towards moving, acting and thinking the same. The possibilities for movement are bounded, being together becomes a restriction, love turns into a prison.

This performance is a research of two lovers becoming “one” and moving together. When lovers become “one”, what is the meaning of love, and what does movement evolve into?

Concept – Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu

Performance – Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu & Derin Cankaya



Time: 21:00
Venue: Mono Bar

No entrance fee.


Sunday June 28

Pride March: 13th LGBTI Pride Week March

Time: 17:00
Venue: Taksim Square

This is the 13th time we will march on Istiklal Avenue and we will be more crowded. We will add our joy and love to our rebellion, drape the streets and avenues with our rainbow flags, shake the ground with our slogans. We are one too few if you are not there!



Time: 21:00
Venue: Mono Bar

No entrance fee. (Coctail Drink is Free)



Party: 23th LGBTI Pride Week Closing Party

Time: 22:00
Venue: TBA Online

No entrance fee.