Queer (Im)mobilities and the ‘Refugee Crisis’: Examining Stakeholder Responses to Sexual Minority Refugees in Turkey

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This article is relevant for humanitarian practitioners, especially those involved in research, because it emphasises the importance of sensitive data collection in the broader inclusion agenda.

This article examines the ways various institutions in Turkey are engaging with sexual and gender minority refugees who have been displaced as part of the refugee crisis. The article first examines the discursive representations of queer and LGBTQ refugees and the impact of these representations on global and local responses to sexual minority displacement in Turkey.

The author argues that while attempts to mainstream diverse SOGI protection strategies is needed and important, more research is needed into the safest and most effective ways to do so. The Turkish case study demonstrates that attempts to mainstream may inadvertently further exclude or put queer displaced persons at greater risk. The article highlights the dearth of research in this area and presents conceptual tools that may enable international actors to better engage with and respond to sexual minority refugees.

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"[L]ocal rights groups, when asked to pinpoint why Turkey was an unsafe place for queer refugees, focussed on the 'conservatism' of 'traditional refugee families', whilst one respondent emphasised the 'profoundly conservative' nature of Turkish society. Other responses drew on the challenge of governmental authoritarianism, and resisted blaming any specific socio-cultural or religious group for the persecution of queer refugees."

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This article examines the ways various institutions in Turkey are engaging with sexual and gender minority refugees who have been displaced as part of the refugee crisis. The article first examines the discursive representations of queer and LGBTQ refugees and the impact of these representations on global and local responses to sexual minority displacement in Turkey.

The author argues that while attempts to mainstream diverse SOGI protection strategies is needed and important, more research is needed into the safest and most effective ways to do so. The Turkish case study demonstrates that attempts to mainstream may inadvertently further exclude or put queer displaced persons at greater risk. The article highlights the dearth of research in this area and presents conceptual tools that may enable international actors to better engage with and respond to sexual minority refugees.