A Bodrum Belle of our acquaintance recently saw Zenne Dancer, a ground breaking indie movie about a male belly dancer. The film, which has won major awards in Turkey, was inspired by the true story of a Kurdish student who was gunned down by his own father for being openly and unrepentantly gay. As our Turkish remains lamentably poor, we’ll have to wait for the subtitled version before we get to see it.
The film caused quite a stir in the Turkish press and among the chattering classes (us included) – not all of which has been negative. Some of the debate was reported in the Guardian in an article called From Homophobia to a Moving Apology in Turkey*. This demonstrates that Turkey is indeed a complex web of paradoxes and contradictions. This conflict is also illustrated in From Diyarbakir with love: Kurdish, gay and proud, a Pink News article that talks of the double struggle for ethnic and sexual identity among the Kurdish LGBT community in South-east Turkey. Two steps forward, one step back.
*Thank you to Johnny Hogue for sending me this article.