QUEER CYPRUS ASSOCIATION

NEWSLETTER

January, 2020

DIVERSITY OF COLOURS:

The Diversity of Colours Project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association, works towards the goal of creating a Cyprus in which all colours including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and plus (LGBTI+) are able to co-exist. The first year of the project has been successfully completed. The project will continue for two more years and will be completed in December 2021.

ACTIVITIES HELD IN THE

PAST THREE MONTHS OF THE PROJECT:

  • Advocacy Training
  • “Diversity in Academia” Conference
  • The “Let me write my story” Campaign
  • “LGBTI+ Awareness for Lawyers” Training
  • The performance entitled “Oycan’s World”
  • “LGBTI+ Awareness for Psychologists” Trainings

Psychologists and Lawyers Networks Established

The second phase of the “LGBTI+ Awareness for Psychologists” was held on 20th October, Sunday at the new office of the Cyprus Turkish Psychologists Association. The “LGBTI+ Awareness for Lawyers” training, in collaboration with the Bar Association Human Rights Committee, was held at the Bar Association on 16th November, Saturday.

Queer Cyprus Association Solidarity Line has been providing services since 2017 and the Solidarity Line Volunteers have been working towards directing people to the necessary contact people. The line has received most requests for psychosocial and legal support. Therefore, one of the goals of the Diversity of Colours Project was to train psychologists and lawyers; and establish psychologists and lawyers’ networks in order to respond to these requests in a healthier manner. After the successful trainings, the psychologists and lawyers’ networks were established.

The signatory psychologists and lawyers of the memorandum of understanding are expected to provide services to LGBTI+ individuals and/or family members who contact the solidarity line with the awareness of any form of discrimination towards LGBTI+’s and on the basis of values such as inclusion of diversity, confidentiality, ethical values and principles.

       

First International Conference, “Diversity in Academia” held in scope of the Project

The conference hosted sessions and speakers who discussed a variety of topics. Following the opening speeches, Dr. Clara Barker from Oxford University presented “Diversity in Academia” to 124 participants and 13 speakers who attended the conference. Dr. Barker talked about her struggle as a trans woman in Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) and her personal story. Following Dr. Barker, speakers from various fields presented their speeches in 4 sessions. These sessions consisted of “Human Rights and LGBTI+ Awareness”, “Academia and Activism”, “Science and Literature” and “Youth and Education”.

       

LIFE PROJECT:

LGBTI+ in Freedom from Exploitation (Life) project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented with the partnership of Queer Cyprus Association and KAOS GL, started in May 2019 and will continue for 2.5 years. With this project, Queer Cyprus aims to contribute to the struggle of LGBTI+ individuals subjected to human trafficking.

ACTIVITIES HELD IN THE

PAST THREE MONTHS OF THE PROJECT:

  • Visit to Emine Dizdarlı,
  • A two-day Focus Group Meeting,
  • Training for Solidarity Line Volunteers,
  • Attending to EU Anti-Trafficking Day,
  • Visit to the local body of Labour and Social Security,
  • An information session for Human Trafficking and Exploitation,
  • Giving start to Mapping for Human Trafficking and Exploitation.

Training for Solidarity Line Volunteers Followed by an Information Session on LGBTI+ Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking

On 21st November 2019, a Solidarity Line Training for Queer Cyprus members, followers and psychologists was held at the Human Rights House. The training was provided by Hans Knutagård, a Social Services professional and academic from the Social Services Department of Göteborg University. The training provided practical and theoretical information in addition to information and experience which was especially beneficial for the service providers of the solidarity line.

Following the training, Assist. Prof. Dr. Neva Ozturk from Ankara University, Faculty of Law and Lawyer Faika Deniz Pasa provided information about human trafficking during the human trafficking and sexual exploitation information session held at EU Information Centre in Nicosia on 23rd November. During this session, participants got the opportunity to be informed about local and international legislation in addition to experienced practices.

    

Participation in a series of visits with Commit Project of which QCA is a stakeholder.

In November, Life Project Coordinator Doğukan Gümüşatam represented Queer Cyprus Association, in a series of visits organized by human trafficking prevention platform (COMMIT Project funded by the European Union) a stakeholder of the project.

Firstly, Local Body who is responsible from Labour and Social Security Dr. Faiz Sucuoğlu was visited. During the visit, issues were discussed with Sucuoglu, and the he made a commitment to collaborate by appointing a representative to the Human Trafficking Prevention Platform. A visit was paid to Emine Dizdarli in which Dizdarli made a commitment to support the Anti-Trafficking Platform which will be established. Lastly, a visit was paid to the Legal, Political Affairs and Foreign Affairs Committee. During the meeting, it was stated that the “Proposal for Penal Code (Amendment)” presented to the committee in 2018, which aims at incorporating the criminal act of human trafficking in local legislation, should be negotiated immediately. Committee members guaranteed that the proposal will be negotiated and examined. In the event of the acceptance of the proposal, human trafficking will be considered a crime and the existing impunity system will be avoided.

LET ME WRITE MY STORY:

Colourful pencils produced for 20th November Trans Day of Remembrance with the slogan “Let me write my story!”. The pencils are wrapped with rainbow colours which signify LGBTI+. The red colour, which symbolizes life, starts off as grey and transforms to red at the tip of the pencil. While grey represents uncertainty and isolation rooted in hate, red represents making a new start to life. Once you get to the tip of the pencil, you may plant the seeds which you will find at the top of the pencil and witness the beginning of life.

We are aware that if we make our voices heard, we will erase all greys and continue to exist with all our colours.

You may purchase these pencils from Ghetto, Canteen, Rusted Bookstore, Kaldi Cafe & Pattiserrie, Grön Vegan, Cafe 5 and Atölye Sanat Sepet. The income from the campaign will be used to support emergency cases that contact the solidarity line.

TO KEEP QUEER ALIVE!

We would like to thank our corporate supporters Cafe No.3, Canteen Sandwich Bar, Copy Point, De Molay Bar, Dive Hub, Ghetto Cafe, Hoi Polloi Bar, Imagine Bar, Kaldi Cafe, Lorenza Cafe, Famagusta Castle Arcade, Red Zeppelin Bar, R&A Law Firm and Rüstem Bookstore for their regular monthly contributions which contribute to sustaining the existence of Queer Cyprus Association and its struggle.

You may support us via our Regular Support Channels!

You may contribute to Queer Cyprus Association by sending an SMS via your post-paid mobile line.

KKTCELL users can send an SMS to support the association on a monthly basis by texting 4271 with the text ABONE KUIR10 for 10 TL, ABONE KUIR30 for 30 TL or ABONE KUIR50 for 50 TL and VODAFONE users can send an SMS to 4271 with the text ABONE KUIR 10 for 10 TL, ABONE KUIR 30 for 30 TL or ABONE KUIR 50 for 50 TL.

 

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