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The Press Release on the Official Ban of German LGBTI Film Days

To whom it may concern,

As the Press Office of Pink Life QueerFest, we would like to correct an information about the cancellation of German LGBTI Film Days. In the article published in BBC News, it is indicated that the organizer of the German LGBTI Film Days is Pink Life QueerFest. However we find it important to correct that the organizer of the event is the Embassy of Germany in Ankara. Pink Life QueerFest and Buyulu Fener Cinema are in cooperation with the Embassy for the event. Otherwise it can be misleading for our festival audience in the sense that they can assume the 7th edition of QueerFest which will take place in January has been cancelled. The 7th edition of the festival organized by Pink Life QueerFest will be with held in January (11-18 Jan in Ankara, 26-28 Jan in Istanbul). We would like to attach our press announcement regarding the cancellation:

“The German LBGTI Film Days which was planned to be held in Ankara on 16-17th November 2017 with the cooperation of the Embassy of Germany in Ankara, QueerFest, and Büyülü Fener Cinema was prohibited by a notification sent by the Governorate of Ankara to Büyülü Fener Cinema on 15th November 2017 following hate assaults made with hashtags #LGBTfilmgünleriiptaledilsin (LGBT film days shall be cancelled) and #İstiklalimizeKaraLeke (Black Stain on our Independence) on social media. In its statement which was also announced on its website, the Governorate banned the activity with the justification that it “would openly incite grudge and enmity of a segment of the public which has different features in terms of social class, race, religion, sect, and region against another segment, and thus there might emerge a clear and close danger in terms of public safety.” Like in the case of pride marches which were banned arbitrarily and unlawfully in the recent years, the argument of terror and provocation threat concerning the film screenings in this case serves to legitimize those persons and institutions that view our existence as a threat and that produce hate discourse against us as well as to deprive us of our constitutional rights under the name of “protection”. The Governorate’s duty is not to ban marches or activities but to let them take place in a safe way.

Having issued a press statement for the prohibition of the activity, Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) finishes the statement with the wish for a “world where the safety of reason, generation, life, property, and religion of all people is achieved.” Films titled Shed My Skin, Romeos, Ungesagt, and Vier kriegen ein Kind advocate a life of equality, togetherness, and pride as aimed by pride marches which were banned due to similar justifications. We also seek a world where Marie and Sarah can share their love freely, 17 year-old Milan can be open to himself and his family, Kalle and Jens can bring up their children happily, and Fabio is not exposed to transphobia.

We LGBTİ+’s are releasing to the press and to the public that we will keep advocating not hate but life and freedom in all areas of life and will fight against racism, sexism, homo-bi-queer-transphobia as well as all types of discrimination based on sexuality, age, gender, ethnicity, and class until the streets are full of colors.

Pink Life QueerFest

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