Dr. Fait Muedini
Assistant Professor of International Studies at Butler University, Meudini received funding for his research on LGBTI human rights in Turkey. He also received funding for two student research assistants.
Muedini is in the initial stages of a book manuscript that looks at the history of the LGBTI movement, challenges as it pertains to human rights violations, as well as strategies that activists and human rights organizations are using to fight for LGBTI rights. The Desmond Tutu Fellowship has been very helpful for Muedini related to this project.
With the Desmond Tutu Fellowship award (along with Butler Awards Committee funding), Muedini has been able to begin research for the book, which includes an examination of the national laws related to sexual orientation rights, the human rights abuses that have occurred against the LGBTI community, as well as research on how the Islamist AKP party has approached LGBTI rights in the country. The award has also allowed him to focus time on current developments regarding LGBTI rights in Turkey.
Furthermore, Fait Muedini traveled to Istanbul, Turkey this summer to interview various LGBTI organization leaders and human rights activists. Some of the organizations that Muedini has interviewed either in Turkey or through conversations upon his return to the United States that include: Pembe Hayat, Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation (SPOD), the founder of GZone Magazine, as well as two mayoral advisors on LGBTI rights (one of which also formerly worked at Lambda Istanbul, and is a current Municipality Member in Beşiktaş).
Muedini is continuing to research conditions in Turkey, and is also working to conduct additional interviews with NGO leaders.
I am very grateful for being selected as a Desmond Tutu Fellow, and being given the support needed to conduct my research on LGBTI human rights in Turkey. The progression of this research would not have been possible without the backing of the Desmond Tutu Center, an organization that has a steadfast commitment to human rights and social justice issues.