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CrimScapes Guest Lecture – "Born illegal": criminalising LGBTQ+ refugees in Türkiye

CrimScapes Guest Lecture - "Born illegal": criminalising LGBTQ+ refugees in Türkiye.
Join us for a guest lecture with Aws Jubair and Sarı (Aman Project)

05.02.2024, 11:00 -
05.02.2024, 12:30

Room 104 (Synteesi), 1st floor
Fabianinkatu 32


Türkiye hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide, nearly four million, including 3.6 million Syrian refugees. Since 2018, the country has experienced one of the worst economic crises in its history, with hyperinflation, unemployment, and chronic hopelessness widespread. Both the country’s authoritarian leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and its major opposition parties have sought to blame the country’s economic woes on refugees, migrants, and other minorities, who face widespread daily discrimination from both the authorities and local communities.

This increasingly hostile and often outright violent atmosphere is most acutely felt by LGBTQ+ refugees in Türkiye, who suffer from rising xenophobic and racist sentiment as well as deeply ingrained and publicly endorsed prejudice against LGBTQ+ people. Both of these trends are actively weaponised by the Turkish authorities to harass and target the LGBTQ+ refugee community.

This talk will discuss the historical and political context that has led to the rise of anti-refugee and anti-LGBTQ+ politics in Türkiye; the legal environment in which this takes place and explore both the issues LGBTQ+ refugees face as well as the networks of solidarity and mutual aid that they are organising. The talk will also feature a Q&A with the speakers.


We kindly request you to register your intention to attend online or on-site at the University of Helsinki:

To attend the lecture online please use this Zoom-Link:

Aws Jubair is a refugee advocate, humanitarian worker and LGBTQ+ activist from Baghdad, Iraq, living and working in Türkiye since 2011. For the past 8 years Aws has been working to serve vulnerable communities. He is co-founder and co-director of four humanitarian projects: The Aman Project which focuses on supporting LGBTQ refugees and advocating for LGBTQ rights in the MENA region; the De-otherize Dialogue Project; United Hands for Refugees, and the Common Sense Initiative.

Sarı is an activist who has worked on human rights in the MENA region for nearly ten years, focusing on Iran and the Persian Gulf. He is advising and assisting on The Aman Project’s advocacy work.


The CrimScapes research project explores the growing mobilisation of criminal law, crime control measures and imaginaries of (il)legality as both responses to, and producers of, the politics of threat and uncertainty that are currently expanding across the European region.