Rights Violations in 2013

Rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in 2013 in Turkey

Provocation Reduction for Bishop’s Murderer

Source: Burcu Karakaş, “Rahip katiline tahrik indirimi,” (“Provocation reduction for Bishop’s murderer,”) Milliyet, 24 January 2013, http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/rahip-katline-tahrik-indirimi/gundem/gundemdetay/24.01.2013/1659533/default.htm

Murat Altun, who was being tried for life in prison for the murder of Bishop Padovese in Iskenderun in 2010, benefited from the unjust provocation reduction and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January 2013.

Bishop Luigi Padovese, Representative of the Catholic Church in Anatolia, was stabbed to death in his home on 3 June 2010 in the Iskenderun region of Hatay. His murderer Murat Altun was tried for life in prison but received only 15 years jail time. The Iskenderun Second High Criminal Court agreed with the prosecutor’s reasoning that “the defendant’s claim that there was a demand for sexual intercourse must be considered given the principle that the suspect benefits from doubt even though the deceased cannot prove otherwise.” Based on this reasoning the court ruled on the “unjust provocation reduction” for the defendant.


“You are HIV-Positive — Resign!”

Source: Tülay Karabağ, “HIV pozitifsin, istifa et!” (“You are HIV-Positive — Resign!”) ntvmsnbc, 14 January 2014, http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/id/25491175

Due to his sexual orientation, his relationship with his family was broken off at age 16.  Just as he was getting his life together despite all the difficulties, he contracted HIV from his lover. When his status as HIV positive was revealed, he was forced to quit his job and became isolated.  A.Y. is just one of the victims of social prejudice who found himself in the middle of a very difficult struggle.

A.Y. is 27 years old and found out that he is HIV-positive a year ago. He contracted the HIV virus from his lover . Right now, he is trying to survive and to stand on his own feet. His employer forced him to sign a resignation letter once he found out about his condition and did not pay him a cent of workers’ compensation.


Crisis at the Hammam

Source: Can Mumay, “Hamamda Kriz,” (“Crisis at the Hammam,”), Hürriyet, 8 January 2014,  http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/ekonomi/25517449.asp

Following the event when transsexual Ebru Kırancı was not allowed to go into the Galatasaray Hammam (bathhouse in Istanbul), a demonstration in front of the hammam drew attention to the venue. The venue owner Can Cenik says that the bathhouse clients are disturbed by transsexuals and that is why they do not allow them to enter the hammam.

A transsexual named Ebru Kırancı (53) went to the historical Galatasaray Hammam in Istanbul on the evening of 26 December about 6:30 PM.


Istanbul LGBTT Statement on Discrimination at Galatasaray Hammam

Source: “Basına, Kamuoyuna ve Tüm LGBT Hakları Destekçilerine Duyurulur – İHBAR EDİYORUZ!”) (“We Announce To the Press, the Public and All Supporters of LGBT Rights – WE DENOUNCE!”), http://www.istanbul-lgbtt.net/lgbtt/haber_detay.asp?haberID=171


“We have had some problems before, concerning transgenders. Our clients have made complaints. That is why we generally do not want to let transsexuals into the hammam. We state this to them in a polite way. Some thank us for our way of expression.”


Journalists Union of Turkey Women’s Commission: “We Will Not Succumb to Male or State Violence!”

Source: “Erkek/Devlet Şiddetine Boyun Eğmeyeceğiz!” (“We Will Not Succumb to Male or State Violence!”), 03 January 2014, http://www.tgs.org.tr/erkekdevlet-siddetine-boyun-egmeyecegiz/

To the press and public;

The police continue to use violence against not only citizens who want to practise their democratic right to protest, but also towards journalists who work for the public’s right to obtain information. As female and LGBTI journalists, we get our share of this male/ police/ state violence. We get injured, battered, prevented from doing our work, and we are subjected to sexist insults and harassment.


A Transsexual in Gaziantep University

Source: “Gaziantep Üniversitesi’nde Bir Transseksüel,” (“A Transsexual in Gaziantep University,”) Gaziantephaberler, 05 January 2014, http://www.gaziantephaberler.com/gaziantep-universitesinde-bir-transseksuel-haberi-29571.html

Taha Tufan, a student at Gaziantep University (GAUN) Physical Education and Sport Academy, disclosed that he is exposed to discrimination at the university because of his gender identity. Tufan said, “They feel uncomfortable towards the organization of LGBTs. They want to make sure that everyone is the same. They can’t tolerate different people.”


So-Called Homosexuality Treatment Homofin’s Homepage

Source: This is a translation of homofinal.com‘s homepage. The Psychiatric Association of Turkey has taken legal action against the company. 


Known as Hetracil in the USA and as X-46 in Sweden, the drug is now being imported to Turkey after it took the name Homofin in Spain.


We believe that everyone has the same rights and freedoms in society. It is now up to you to be or not to be a homosexual. Your sexual identity, which is something you are born with and has only to do with hormonal pheromones, is no longer your destiny. You can make your own decisions.

Homofin, discovered by researchers in Stockholm University and developed by US firm Shetty Pharmaceuticals, is finally in Turkey after Spanish scientists designed to remove all side effects.

Vested interests behind hate directed at trans women in Meis Housing Complex

“Stories of Violence from Turkey” is a project by the Intercultural Research Association that aims to archive and document the phenomenon of violence in Turkey; to prevent events of violence and their victims from “becoming ordinary” and “turning into statistics;” to investigate the conditions of violence in order to make future projections; and to bring together NGOs, civil society, and advocates for the defense of victims’ rights. The project publishes photographs and interviews with victims or witnesses in a simple and flexible format that allows the interviewees to express themselves.

Source: Cankız Çevik, “Meis Sitesi’nde translara yönelen nefretin arkasında rant var,” (“Vested interests behind hate directed at trans women in Meis Housing Complex,”) Türkiye’den Şiddet Hikayeleri, 18 December 2013, http://www.siddethikayeleri.com/meis-sitesinde-translara-yonelen-nefretin-arkasinda-rant-var/

Since June 2012, trans people living in Istanbul Avcılar district’s Meis Housing Complex have been the targets of enormous harassment. Meis resident and journalist Michelle Demishevich talks to Stories of Violence from Turkey about the lynching atmosphere created by the crowds who organized to kick trans women out of Avcılar and the violence based on morality and mass hate.


Transphobic Hate Crime in Mersin

Source: Baki Uguz, “Mersin’de Transfobik Nefret Saldırısı,” (“Transphobic Hate Crime in Mersin,”) Kaos GL, 24 December 2013, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15468

A transsexual who works as a sex worker in the southern city of Mersin was attacked by a group of people with cleavers and sticks in the central district of Yenişehir. The trans woman was seriously injured due to the attacks and was taken to the emergency room of the Toros State Hospital.

A trans woman named Deniz was attacked by three unknown individuals on Monday night at around 8.30 PM, as she left her house and went to local bank Akbank at Pozcu, Mersin.


Sel Publishing: “The Assaults against Freedom of Thought and Expression are Completely Unacceptable”

Source: Kaos GL, “Düşünce ve Yaratım Özgürlüğüne Yapılan Saldırılar Kabul Edilemez,” (“The Assaults against Freedom of Thought and Expression are Completely Unacceptable,”) 19 December 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15442

The court has decided to delay the prosecution of the case regarding “indecency” against Sel Publishing, which had been brought on because of Apollinaire’s The Exploits of a Young Don Juan. İrfan Sancı, the owner of Sel, answered kaosGL.org’s questions about the lawsuit process and the concept of “indecency.”


All Three Defendants Acquitted in Trans Murder

Source: “Trans cinayetinde 3 sanık da beraat etti,” (“All three defendants acquitted in trans murder,”) DHA, 13 December 2013, http://www.evrensel.net/haber/74020/trans-cinayetinde-3-sanik-da-beraat-etti.html

The three defendants who were being tried, without arrest, for the murder of trans individual Ece Pulat were acquitted due to a lack of evidence. Ece Pulat was found in İzmir’s Aliağa district having been decapitated and left on vacant land in March 2011.


“He stabbed, washed his hands and got on with his life”

Source: Mehmet Bilber, “Bıçakladı, elini yıkadı ve hayata karıştı. Trans İdil’e bunu yapan aramızda,” (“He stabbed, washed his hands and got on with his life. The person who did this to trans İdil is among us.”) Radikal, 03 December 2013, http://www.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/bicakladi_elini_yikadi_ve_hayata_karisti_trans_idile_bunu_yapan_aramizda-1164136

He stabbed, washed his hands and got on with his life. The person who did this to trans İdil is among us.

Violence against LGBTT people does not ease down. The latest victim of an act of violence is 26 year old İdil. She survived a knife attack by chance. İdil was in the hospital for 10 days and identified the perpetrator through city surveillance cameras but he still has not be found. Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association’s lawyer Ahmet Toköz stated that there has been no investigation or a capture operation. The President of the Red Umbrella Association of Sexual Health and Human Rights  Kemal Ördek said that as of November there have been 5 trans women murders this year.


Homophobic Hate Killing in Hatay

Source: Kaos GL, “Hatay’da Homofobik Nefret Cinayeti,” (“Homophobic Hate Killing in Hatay,”) 25 Kasım 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15248  

A cover up is being attempted with the homophobic killing of F.İ. (27), who was found choked to death and with his head smashed in the İskenderun district of Hatay.

The members of the İskenderun LGBT community, who shared their thoughts with kaosGL.org, have concerns that the homicide of F.İ. -who was found dead with his hands cuffed, feet tied and head covered with a sack- will not be solved.


Prime Minister Files Criminal Complaint for “Fag” Tweet

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Başbakan’dan “İbne” Tweetine Suç Duyurusu,”(“Prime Minister Makes Criminal Complaint for “Fag” Tweet.”) bianet, http://bianet.org/bianet/lgbtt/151457-basbakan-dan-ibne-tweetine-suc-duyurusu

The Prime Minister has made a criminal complaint against Levent Pişkin’s “Waiting for PM to declare, ‘I am a perfect fag. Obviously I will not learn how to be a fag from you.’” Pişkin stated, “Being gay is not an insult, it is an orientation. I will file a countersuit”

Prime Minister Erdoğan has made a criminal complaint against LGBT activist and the People’s Democratic Party’s District President Levent Pişkin.

Pişkin had tweeted “Waiting for PM to declare, ‘I am a perfect fag. Obviously I will not learn how to be a fag from you’” after the PM had announced, “I am a perfect Alevi.”


Yeni Akit: “CHP Proposes Pervert Minister” and “CHP Youth Visits Lesbians”

TN: On 11 October 2013, conservative Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Akit and its online edition Habervaktim.com reported the Republican People’s Party’s Youth Organization’s visit to the Black Pink Triangle LGBT Initiative with the headings “CHP Proposes Pervert Minister” and “CHP Youth Visits Lesbians” respectively.

Source: Sinan Kaya, “CHP’den Sapkin Vekil Talebi,” (“CHP Proposes Pervert Minister,”) Yeni Akit, 11 October 2013, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151673425697724&set=a.169467827723.124786.113817517723&type=1&theater

“CHP’li Gençlerden Lezbiyenlere Ziyaret,” (“CHP Youth Visits Lesbians,”) Habervaktim, 11 October 2013,  http://www.habervaktim.com/haber/347005/chpli-genclerden-lezbiyenlere-ziyaret.html

The General Vice President of the CHP Youth Organization Nazli Kiran, the president of the Izmir CHP Youth Organization İbrahim Soydan, the vice presidents Tuğçe Onbaşı, Zeynep Arca, Deniz Mert Hancı and Mahsun Kazan visited the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual organization Black Pink Triangle LGBT Initiative.