Pioneering sporting event to challenge homophobia in Turkey24 August 2017

Likemanyplaces,Turkeyfacesproblemswithhomophobia.Accordingto a2016reportfromtheEuropeanRegionoftheInternationalLGBTIAssociation*thecountry hasoneoftheworstrecordsofhumanrightsviolationsagainstLGBTI+peopleinEurope.But,overtheweekenda pioneeringsportingfestivalwillchallengeprejudicesandfightfortherightsof LGBTI+peopleinTurkey.

Organised by the Turkish LGBTI+ football team Athletic Dildoa and the young feminist group FRIDA fund, with the support of Fare, the three-day event will be a mix of sporting events and forums, panel discussions and workshops. It will take place between 25 -27 August in Heybiliada and Kalamaki, Istanbul.

Queer Olympix is, according to the organisers, an alternative to sport free of discrimination.

“We, as women and LGBTI+ individuals, who have been playing football across this city for years, asked ourselves if we could re-create a different sport, a sport that everybody can enjoy and be part of, a different grandstand free of discriminatory behaviour and hate crimes” they explained.

The festival will kick-off with a bike tour around Heybeliada on 25 August at 14h30, followed by a picnic and a yoga workshop. On 26-27 August, sporting activities will include a relay, a long jump event, and a beach volleyball and football tournaments, among other, which will be contested by nine teams from Turkey and Europe.

Various non-governmental organisations and activists will also take part in events including the panel discussion around the Olympics and the ideal of body and healthy society imposed during the Nazi Germany, workshops on body recognition and self-defence, and forum on LGBTI+ women in Istanbul and becoming experiences.