Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Hevjin - first Kurdish LGBT magazine in Turkey

Eurasia.net reports on first ever groundbreaking LGBT magazine for Kurds in Turkey:

[...] For all their fear, however, the pair embarked on a radical experiment, launching the first-ever magazine for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) Kurds this July. Called ‘Hevjin’, meaning ‘intercommunity’ in Kurdish, the first issue of the free publication is available online and in a few bookshops and cafés in Diyarbakir, a city with a large Kurdish population.

It took three years of patient work before Koya and Solin, both gay Kurds themselves, were ready to bring out the first issue. “There are 15 million Kurds in Turkey, and one in 10 people is gay, but where are the Kurdish gay people?” asked Solin. “That is the question that led to this. We wanted to find out how people express their sexuality in this culture.” [...]

“I don’t want to create a hierarchy in discrimination, but I would say that they [the Kurdish LGBT activists] are doubly discriminated against,” Oztop added. [Nevin Oztop, editor-in-chief of Turkey’s only other LGBT magazine, Kaos GL]

For their part, Koya and Solin affirmed that they feel locked in a twin struggle, one ethnic, the other sexual. Upsetting gay Turks and straight Kurds won’t stop them, they added.

They expressed hope that their periodical, Hevjin, would soon surpass 2,000 readers. Over the longer term, they seek to bring about the kind of change that will allow homosexuals to rally openly in Diyarbakir some day in the not too distant future. “In the past it was very popular for Kurds to say that there were no Kurdish homosexuals. We’ve already got to a point where it’s no longer possible for people to say this.”

You may access the magazine at http://www.hevjin.org (picture via Hevjin)


շուշան ավագյան said...

thanx for the link -- we've tried to contact them, maybe even meet in october in yerevan.

artmika said...

Good to know, Shushan jan. Keep us posted on developments, if any.