KAOS GL, short for Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Turkish: Kaos Gey ve Lezbiyen Kültürel Araştırmalar ve Dayanışma Derneği), founded in 1994, is one of the oldest and largest LGBT rights organisations in Turkey. In 2005, the Ankara-based AOS GL (now a quarterly publication) since its founding. The group operates the KAOS Cultural Center, which hosts cultural activities, meetings, and showings of films. The center also houses a LGBT history library.
Struggle for legal registration
In July 2005, KAOS GL applied for Association status with the Ministry of the Interior. Subsequently, Ankara's deputy governor Selahattin Ekremoğlu petitioned a court to close the organisation, referring to articles 56 and 4721 of the Turkish Civil Code prohibiting establishment of an organization that is against laws and morality. The threat of closure was criticized by the International Lesbian and Gay Association and Human Rights Watch, who considered it a violation of basic rights and yet another attempt at suppressing civil society in Turkey. On 12 October 2005, Ankara prosecutor Kursat Kayral however decided not to proceed with the case, concluding that homosexuality can't be equated with immorality. While in 2008 similar charges were brought against Istanbul-based LGBT organisation Lambdaistanbul, KAOS GL has been a legally registered non-government organisation (NGO) since October 2005.
March against Homophobia and Transphobia
On 17 May 2008, the fifth International Day Against Homophobia, Kaos GL and Pink Life LGBTT Association jointly organized the first annual LGBT march in Ankara. Joined by British MEP Michael Cashman and Dutch feminist writer Anja Meulenbelt, over 100 gay men and women, bisexuals and transgender people assembled in front of the Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street, marching towards the parliament. Police, outnumbering the demonstrators, stopped the march, demanding the rainbow flags and banners be taken down. Otherwise, the march proceeded.
On May 2009, Kaos GL organized the second annual march against homophobia and transphobia in Ankara. Around 300 people marched from Kurtuluş Park to the Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street. The demonstration ended with a press statement, which called for the acknowledgement of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals (LGBTT).
Kaos GL has been organizing international anti-homophobia meetings since May 2006. Anti-Homophobia Meeting was first held as a four-days hall event in May 2006. In 2007, together with the central events, “Campus Meetings Against Homophobia” were realized in the three biggest university campuses of the capital, Ankara. 4th annual meetings took place in six cities, from May 1 to May 17., 2009. 4th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting, started with the May 1 March in Ankara; and ended with May 17 Anti-Homophobia March again in Ankara. Additional meeting took place also in the cities of Izmir, Eskisehir, Van, Diyarbakir and Istanbul together with Ankara.
- Serkan Görkemli. Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey. SUNY Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4384-5183-1.
- "Kaos GL's probable closure concerns European NGO". Turkish Daily News. 22 September 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- "HRW: Closure threat of Kaos GL spells violation of basic rights". Turkish Daily News. 22 September 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- "Kaos GL Association will not be closed". Reuters. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2016 – via International Lesbian and Gay Association.
- Özge Zihnioğlu. European Union Civil Society Policy and Turkey: A Bridge Too Far?. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-137-27441-0.
- "First Ever Gay March Held in Ankara, Turkey". UK Gay News. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- Bawer Çakır (18 May 2009). "March against Homophobia and Transphobia in Ankara". Bianet. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- Nevin Öztop (May 2, 2009). "We are marching against Homophobia!". KAOS GL. Retrieved April 26, 2016.