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Legato (Project)

Legato, the acronym for Lezbiyen Gay Toplulugu (Turkish for Lesbian and Gay Association) is a collegiate group that aims to connect and bring together Turkish LGBTQ college students with the ultimate goal of establishing LGBTQ student organizations at Turkish universities.

As of July 2004, Legato has 857 members (as shown on the Yahoo! Groups' interface) at 83 universities (up from 418 members at 67 schools in March '03, and 355 members at 61 schools in October '02).

Offline Presence
Officially, Legato does not exist. Legato members meet in coffee houses, on college campuses, and at local LGBT organizations.

Online Presence
Legato groups on Yahoo! Groups
Legato website

Timeline [1]
1996 Several students of the Middle East Technical University (METU) [2] met at Kaos GL [3] and established Kaos METU in Ankara.

Kaos METU became Legato METU [4].

1997 Legato Hacettepe [5] founded (first meeting on April 4)

1999 The Project Legato resumed by Gay Ankara [6]

2000 Mailing lists on Yahoo! created for 23 universities on June 28

2000 Legato spreads to other universities in Istanbul (Legato Bogaziçi [7] founded in the fall and first individual Legato group website launched)

2000 First interview in December for a newspaper with national circulation

2000 Legato Ortak Liste (Turkish for shared or common mailing list) established on December 20 connecting LGBTQ college students all over Turkey

2001 All groups located in Istanbul met on February 10 under the name of Legato Ortakliste with a participation of over 60 members.

2002 Legato groups in Istanbul convened on January 19.

2002 Legato website with real-time chat function launched in the spring

Legato became a member of ILGA (The International Gay and Lesbian Association)

[1] Most of the following information is from “A Brief History of Legato” by Legato Members (see references for the full citation).

[2] A distinguished technical university known as Ortadogu Teknik Üniversitesi (ODTÜ) in Turkey.

[3] Kaos GL, a prominent LGBT organization with its own journal, Kaos GL, located in the capital, Ankara (kaos: chaos in Turkish).

[4] Throughout this article, when Legato is used in conjunction with the name of a university, as in “Legato METU” here, it does not refer to an actual on-campus student organization but rather to a particular Yahoo! group named after a particular university connecting its LGBTQ students.

[5] Hacettepe Üniversitesi, another well-known university in the capital.

[6] An association of gay men that existed once in the capital.

[7] Bogaziçi Üniversitesi, a prominent university in Istanbul . As a very active group, Legato Bogaziçi set an example for groups at other schools in Istanbul at the beginning by holding regular meetings, organizing film screenings, creating its own website, etc.