Panel: LGBTI+ Rights in Turkey and Poland

The panel LGBTI+ Rights in Turkey and Poland will be held online on November 18, Wednesday at 16.00 (GMT+3).

You may join the live-stream in Turkish and English.

Organized jointly by Hafıza Merkezi, Association for Monitoring Equal Rights and Netherlands Helsinki Committee, the panel is part of a series titled Shrinking Democratic Spaces and International Solidarity.

Panel speakers are Karolina Gierdal, General Coordinator of Kampania Przeciw Homofobii (Campaign Against Homophobia) and Aylime Aslı Demir, Academic and Cultural Studies Coordinator of Kaos GL. Journalist and researcher Sezin Öney will moderate the talk.

In this panel, we want to discuss the changing dynamics of LGBT+ activism in the context of rising populism and Covid-19, and the forms of struggle in response to these challenges. Some of the issues and questions we want to address with respect to both Turkey and Poland are;

  • The background developments that led to the current hostile political environment on LGBT+ rights,
  • The nature of the populist discourses with respect to the LGBTI+ rights,
  • How and why the Istanbul Convention has been targeted by both governments?
  • The changing methods and approaches of LGBTI+ movement in response to these hostile developments,
  • The specific challenges created by Covid-19 for LGBTI+ activism, and the responses to it.

For registration, click here:


Karolina Gierdal is an attorney, member of the Bar Association in Warsaw and the Human Rights Section of the District Bar Council in Warsaw. Since 2017, she has been running a law firm providing legal assistance to people who are discriminated against. Since the same year, she has also been associated with the Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH): first as a member of the association’s Legal Group, and since 2018, as its coordinator and member of the KPH team. As a member of KPH Legal Group, Gierdal has taken part in numerous strategic litigation cases before Poland’s Supreme Court, Constitutional Tribunal and European Court of Human Rights. She also defends the defendants for infringement of the personal rights of the authors of the “Hate Atlas”, a monitoring project in response to municipalities and regions of Poland that have declared themselves unwelcoming of an alleged “LGBT-free-zones”.

Aylime Aslı Demir is trained in Public Management, Political Science and Women Studies. Since 2010, she’s been working as editor and curator in various exhibitions and publications, dealing with the politics and aesthetics of bringing together a wide range of information and practices. Demir is chief editor of Kaos Q+, Turkey’s first and only peer-reviewed queer studies journal, and is the running director of Ankara Queer Art Program Artists Residency. In Turkey and abroad, she’s been involved in many organizations and collectives within the framework of various exhibitions, conferences, community studies and publications.