Turkey. We start off as LGBTI Peace Initiative

We start off as LGBTI Peace Initiative
for the peace, democracy and humanity to win...

We were drawn into an atmosphere of violence and war, starting with the massacre of Suruç, which took place in 20 July 2015, in the Suruç province of Şanlıurfa. Two years ago, then prime minister Erdogan said, "We would try everything for this problem to be solved. If it is to drink the hemlock, we would do it for peace to come upon this country," and now he has become the major source of disquietude for this country. Erdoğan's attempts to disrupt the political sphere by setting the law at nought is a de facto coup-d'etat. The Palace has taken democracy and peace hostage. It is not acceptable that the election results are not recognized, that civilian politicians are taken into custody and detained, and that people who demand peace are criminalized and forced to approve of war. The fall is inescapable for those who stand in the way of peace and democracy, but how many people still have to lose their lives for it to be clear?

War means continuous discrimination, tyranny and violence against the Other, and a war is being waged on we LGBTIs in Turkey. If there is no peace, there is no chance of an equal and free life. Today we believe that, peace is an urgent necessity for everyone in Turkey. The war and violence of the Palace feeds on militarism and a patriarchal mindset, it valorizes masculinity and preaches hate. We, as LGBTIs, are united against the war of patriarchy.

We demand an immediate ceasefire and a return to the peace talks. During Gezi Resistance, we realized that listening to and communicating with each other gave us power. This is why we say "Stop!" to the warmongering which renders us deaf. A democratic solution to the Kurdish issue is possible, but it must be based on open dialogue and understanding. Soldier, guerilla, and civilian deaths must be immediately stopped. We are well aware that as the non-violent discourse for peace grows stronger, warmongers will be sorry and humanity will win.

We, as LGBTI Peace Initiative, have taken the first step to defend our common human right to survive against the war. We are determined to speak up for peace. The call for peace from the LGBTI society and those who want peace can stop the deaths and help to put an end to the atmosphere of fear. We set off with this belief in our hearts. We, as the LGBTI who say no to war in every part of the life, set to work to give a helping hand to the efforts of turning back to the ceasefire situation, to develop and to strengthen the peace.

The LGBTI organizations and independent LGBTI activists who form the LGBTI Peace Initiative will incessantly speak up for and organize the peace. We're going to defend peace without any excuse. We invite all of LGBTI society who are for the democratic solution to our initiative, to give a helping hand to the efforts for the peace to come.

LGBTI Peace Initiative, 24 August 2015.