KAOS GL INTERVIEW
CAN BAŞKENT - ALİ EROL
Can: Let’s hear something about KAOS GL from you; eg.its brief history, its circulation, why it is been published, why was its format changed from ‘zine to legal magazine, what was its goals etc?
In first years, despite the fact that it had been printed by photocopy, KAOS GL didn’t have the “fanzine” format. There wasn’t any publication which enables us to express our emotions and ideas, and lets us express what we practised and what we couldn’t practised as gays&lesbians of Turkey. So we could print KAOS GL by photocopy with our monetary facilities at the begining.
What does the word “chaos” in the name of the KAOS GL expresses? It expresses “natural and universal circle” to me,for example. The word of chaos makes us remember the ‘anarchy’, what are your relations with anarchy? Are you anarchists?
The word of “chaos” expresses us non-dominate society as well as the natural circle. We think that compulsory heterosexuality is a crime of humanity. In a chaotic society, homosexuals and heterosexuals will be able to live together without requiring any dominance relations. Although KAOS GL was publishing by anarchist homosexuals at the begininig, it’s open to everyone who has something to say and it lets us discuss any topic.
What are the negative points of launching a magazine of gay&lesbian researches in a too heterosexist and homophobic country as Turkey? What are your bad experiences as an individual and KAOS GL? Aren’t you afraid of writing your name&surname, address and phone number clearly in the pages of the magazine? I can remember bad events occured, about SPARTAKUS group in Bursa etc.?
We think that self-confidence and honour of homosexuals was seized by heterosexism. In addition to that we haven’t met an organized attack held by the government yet. Since there aren’t any samples in our lands, most of the homosexuals are afraid of appearing. Surely, most have valid reasons: family pressure, being excluded in schools, being dismissed, being despised etc. Despite all those facts, we are real and living on this land. Hiding doesn’t provide us anything. We are not hero, but we try to keep our lives.
On the other hand, what good reactions, support and help you get so far? For example, how an heterosexul individual, whom aginst heterosexism and homophobia like me, can help KAOS GL?
We don’t live in a different world from heterosexuals. Apart from the magazine we tell the subjects to the heterosexuals as to our relations and conditions. Besides, our heterosexual friends write for our magazine. Any technical support and solidarity of our heterosexual friends please us.But the most important one should be examining and revaluating the life together. No matter how relation a heterosexual has with the system; even he’s against the sexism, heterosexism, homophobia; a heterosexual is dominant in the society.Apart from scrutinizing that condition, only being against the homophobia will not help improving the conditions of homosexuals.
Can you tell something about the general situation of the Turkish homosexuls and the history of the Turkish homosexual movement?
Homosexual movement in Turkey has approximately 15 years-old history. Naturally, it is the period of expressing the homosexuality as a request of social idenditity. Firstly gathering in the metropolitan cities like Ankara and Istanbul, homosexuals combined “Lambda” group in Istanbul and “Kaos GL” group in Ankara during that mentioned period. Most of the gay and lesbians joining to the group is university students. In last 3 years, we organize collective discussions and activities twice in a year. Despite all those, most of the homosexuals keep living in their little closed worlds or just watching from far for now.
How do you evaluate the homosexual movement in the world, [or in general, movements opposing the system]? For example the anti-capitalist carnival in Seattle, etc?
Movements opposing the system, even some of them has a past history, existed in ’68. Homosexual Liberation Movement put itself forward in that social conditions of that period. Movements opposing the system have become minimized or integrated to the system due to the fact that having beaten of the ’68 movement and following the neo-liberal assault in the second half of 70’s and 80’s. Nowadays, it seems that there is a new hope borning. Homosexual movement will take its place just in a way. It can’t be in a different way. Because, homosexual movement or any other, can not go so further on its own in such a no-movement period. On the other hand, however it can easily be seen in TVs, the pink or rainbow flags waving in demonstrations held in USA or Vienne aren’t mentioned in news.
As KAOS GL, do you have an aim of creating a homosexual culture? If you have, can you telle us something about the concept of this mentioned culture? Moreover, what is the aim of KAOS GL? Answer from the local anda global perspectives please.
What we did and what will do is our culture as KAOS GL. Our main aim is not creating a minority culture, but making critics to heterosexist dominate society which we live inside. We try to do this with the heterosexuals who are disturbed by the society. Our attempt of creating an independent homosexual movement as KAOS GL is for free and equal society. We, as KAOS GL, want to demonstrate that the society doesn’t combine from the heterosexuals only. We work for realizing indepented existence of our homosexuality and also for make this reality being recognized. We are in the begining, and we dream of “Conference of Homosexuals from Balcan and Middle East Coutries”
How do you evaluate the homosexual culture in the world? It seems to me that, it’s based on absurdism and exhibitionism; aren’t I right?
No matter what topic it is, people see what they want to see! The variety should be normal due to the fact that there are lots of homosexuals from every status of the society. Nevermind the other countries, it’s same in Turkey. There are homosexuals who choose struggle, but on the other hand there are homosexuals who is pessimist, has no beliefs , snob, cooperates with hetrosexism. If what you said is “absurdist and exhibitionist” people are the ones who were picked and showed from the carnivals and festivals held in Europe and America; you’d better think again. There are always absurdist and exhibionist people in a march which thousands of people joined in Europe, Australia and America; and media only shows those absurdist and exhibionist people. Because they are the “interesting” ones and when we see them all the prejudices in our heads reappear.
Does KAOS GL have any internaional contact? With ILGA or etc.?
KAOS GL is a member of ILGA but because of the lack of money we can not join the any activities of ILGA. We made contacts with lots of groups from abroad. We stay in touch with them by sending magazines and communicating.
As I know, homophobia and heterosexim exist as a primitivness around the world. What must be done for removing them?
Naturally there’s no turn for homophobia in such a world in which sexism still exist despite the big struggle taken by women against sexism. Homophobia and the other problems like homophobia can be understood in case it is examined within the other social problems. You can not remove the only homophobia when all the associations of the heterosexist society keep their position.
Any words to add?
We contacted with the Arkadija group in Serbia before. We will be pleased communicating with Croatian gay&lesbians. We pass our greetings from Turkey.
Thanx for sparing your time on this.
Thank you, too.