Armed Forces, BBC, LGBT, Turkey & Turkish

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Auntie Beeb recently ran an article about gays in the military – not in America this time – but in our foster home. It makes comical reading. For young gay Turks to receive their pink exemption slip (I prefer lilac myself) they have to prove their perversion with photographic evidence. Got a few holiday snaps of you being bummed on the beach in Bodrum? Now, young man, it only counts if you’re Martha not Arthur. The next best thing is to see you in a frock and slingbacks. Anything floral by Laura Ashley* will do. You couldn’t make it up.

*A cock in a shock frock reminds me of my encounter with transsexual prostitutes on my very first trip to Istanbul in 2003, but that’s another story.

For all those wasted years of navel gazing by the horrified higher echelons of the British armed forces, gay and lesbian Britons are now allowed to serve their country. People who know a great deal more than I do about these things say this has had absolutely no detrimental effect on the operational efficiency of Her Maj’s army, air force  or navy (well, it’s always been rum and bum in the navy anyway). Military failure is reserved for our hapless politicians who send our brave boys (and girls) out to fight wars they can’t win.

Let’s face it, when it came to periods of genuine national emergency (like a world war), no one cared less where you put it. We were all cannon fodder back then (unless you were Quentin Crisp, of course).

Cue the video:

Thank you to Pansyfan Paul who sent me the article.

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Rum, Bum and the Navy

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21 thoughts on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

  1. Love it.

    Not being gay myself, I find it overwhelmingly absurd that so many people seem to be so concerned about other people’s sexual orientation.
    I have lots of friends who are gay, but they’re my friends, not my gay friends. Were it otherwise, I think it would be me who would need to bear the label of sexual pervert, not they.

    Why on earth does anyone get so heated about what others do and how they do it? Does “live and let live” not apply? The world is getting more insane.

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  2. I just read the article you link to – and I am totally lost for words. Had no idea, am amazed that it is so “out” as a topic in the military in Turkey open for discussion…yet again Turkey is fascinating when it comes to acceptance-rejection on this topic.

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      1. From all I hear, this sounds right to me – what is so interesting to me is that in what might otherwise be thought of as a totally repressive state in this regard, this aspect of sexuality is SO out there and for lack of a better word, officialized re: how the military openly addresses this. Anyway, thanks again for posting, interesting.

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  3. I posted the article on FB a couple of days ago. I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. I am so appalled by this. I was actually in favour of the national service system in Turkey. Not only are the recruits trained to protect us, but they do useful things, like rebuilding roads etc. Now I am just disgusted with the whole bloody thing.

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    1. Turkey will never give up national service. It’s one of the things that defines Turkishness and keeps underemployed young people on side. It’s just a shame it’s not a bit more inclusive.

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  4. . . had a company commander (major) when I was in 1 Para – everybody knew he was ‘queer’ (gay meant something different back then), and yet everyone admired him for being a great soldier and a real ‘man’s man’. We ‘Hairy-arsed Paras’ would have followed him to hell and back and were proud to serve with the guy. He was responsible for altering many of my pre-conceived ideas inherited from my parents and their ilk – that gays were promiscuous; messed around with band boys; were effete; you name it. I owe that bloke a lot, because it was a turning point in breaking down other attitudes about other matters that might well have calcified over time!
    The top brass gave him an ultimatum – get married or get out! He chose marriage and his career. It was a disastrous choice. The petty ignorance that forced that decision ended up destroying his life and his wife’s.

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