The Voice of the University Podcast series, prepared by Civic Space Studies Association with the support of PEN Norway, has started.
In this podcast series; We will discuss the freedom of expression and assembly on campuses, the obstacles to the freedom of association of communities and clubs, the struggle of women and LGBTI+ on campuses, the lawsuits filed against students, the student struggle on the screen, briefly the issues that intersect campus life. Throughout the thirteen-part series presented by journalist Cansu Pişkin, we will listen to the achievements and challenges of student activism from the subjects of the struggle.
In the first part of the monthly series, Mert from Boğaziçi University LGBTI+ Studies; talked about how BÜLGBTİ+ came together, the processes that started with the appointment of the trustee, the closure of the community and the LGBTI+ struggle on campuses.
Mert said that the government’s pressure on LGBTI+s affected the club establishment processes in state universities, especially the direct control of universities through trustees, violated the freedom of association. They said that BÜLGBTİ+’s transfer from candidate status to official status was completely prevented by the appointment of the trustee.
The candidate status of the group was also relegated during the protests that started with the appointment of Melih Bulu. Mert stated that as LGBTI+ students, they were in all the protests against the trustee rector during this process. LGBTI+ students and the community were directly targeted by the authorities, and then their clubs were closed overnight. Mert explained that this had the effect of a domino, and then dozens of lawsuits were filed against LGBTI+ students. They said that in the following process, any activity with LGBTI+ in its name was censored and banned, and these obstacles continued to increase.
Mert stated that as a result of the hate speech generated by the government, LGBTI+ phobic rallies were organized and attacks on pride parades increased.
They shared that LGBTI+s no longer feel safe on the street and on the campus, where they were safe in the past, because of these targeting and hate speeches. They stated that there is no judiciary to protect them and even the judiciary is used as a threat, and LGBTI+s are constantly tried in the courts in one way or another.
They said that the online activities during the pandemic and the lack of space caused by the closure of BÜLGBTİ + weakened their visibility and communication. They underlined that despite all this, it is necessary not to surrender and to continue to speak out loud and produce.
You can listen to the episodes on spotify.