Hate crimes against trans women

Trans Woman Attacked with “Allahu Akbar” Chants in Mersin


Two assailants in Mersin’s Pozcu district attacked a trans woman with a knife and iron rod, shouting “Allahu Akbar”  [“God is Great”]. It was learned that the police did not take action regarding the two people who attacked the trans woman saying “We’re going to kill all of you.”

Source: “Mersin’de trans kadına tekbirli saldırı” (“‘Allahu Akbar’ Heard During Attack on Trans Woman in Mersin”), T24, 6 August 2016, http://m.t24.com.tr/haber/mersinde-trans-kadina-tekbirli-saldiri,353607

Following the attack, the trans woman who had gone to the hospital was discharged without being given a report.

Two assailants attacked a trans woman with an iron rod around 03:00 on 6 August at the Topçular bus stop in Mersin’s Pozcu district.

According to Cumhuriyet’s story, the trans woman called the police to report the assailants, but the police who came to the scene distanced the assailants by taking the knife from their hands and tossing it down the storm drain, and then left the scene saying “You leave, we’ll do what needs to be done.”

After the police left the scene, the assailants this time attacked the trans woman, Melisa, with iron rods. Melisa alleged that the assailants, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” said, “We’re going to kill all of you,” and that the police who came back to the scene took no action.

7 Colors LGBTI Association: We’re going to start the judicial process

Melisa, who went to the Mersin State Hospital through her own efforts, was sent home after her wounds were dressed without being given a report.

The Mersin 7 Colors LGBTI Association for its part expressed that they were going to start the judicial process against this hate crime, which they announced through their social media accounts.


Transphobic Murder in Çorlu

In Çorlu, offender F.T. stabbed and killed Aleda, a trans sex worker with whom he engaged in a fight. F.T. admitted the murder in the cab he took.

Source: “Çorlu’da Transfobik Nefret Cinayeti” (“Transphobic Murder in Çorlu”), Pembe Hayat, 20 March 2016, http://pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1032#.Vu7WLKVvJdk

The transphobic murderer and Aleda started fighting in Aleda’s home for mysterious reasons. Subsequently, he stabbed Aleda and fled the crime scene. He then took a cab, with his clothes covered in blood, and told the driver he killed someone. The driver called the cops as soon as he dropped off F.T. Police found Aleda’s dead body at the address provided by the driver. Aleda’s body was taken to Çorlu State Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Security forces found the murderer F.T. in his home and detained him approximately an hour after the incident. F.T. was taken to  Çorlu Police Station, officials announced that investigation continues.

Transphobic Murder in Istanbul


Trans woman Buse lost her life as a result of a hate crime in her home in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district. The district attorney’s examinations of Buse’s home are still underway. Camera footage will be inspected to verify the identity of the attacker.

Source: “İstanbul’da transfobik nefret cinayeti” (“Transphobic Murder in Istanbul”), Kaos GL, 4 March 2016, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21241


A trans woman named Buse was found dead in her home in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district.

Buse’s friends, who had not been able to get in touch with her, went to the house Buse lived in. When the door would not open, they had a locksmith open it and saw that Buse had died as a result of a transphobic hate crime. The friends then informed the police of the situation.

The body of Buse, who was killed with a sharp object, showed signs of battery all over her. It is estimated that the hate crime occurred two days before her body was discovered. No information about the attacker has been obtained yet.

The district attorney’s investigation of the home is still ongoing. It is thought that the attacker was a young man. Camera footage will be examined to find the murderer.

Another transphobic hate crime was experienced in Istanbul in recent weeks. Asya Özgür, who had previously been a candidate in the local elections (2014) for municipal council membership, was attacked in Fındıkzade, where she had worked the previous night. Özgür’s condition is improving.


High turnout at the hate crimes panel in Mersin

Ismail Saymaz from the Radikal newspaper and Yıldız Tar from Kaos GL participated in the “Hate Crimes” panel, on “Hrant Dink and Zirve Publishing House Assassinations” and “Sexual Orientation- and Gender Identity-based Hate Crimes,” at Mersin University. The panel was moved to a larger lecture hall due to high turnout.


Photo by Salih-i Umar


Knife attack against trans woman

[Trigger warning: This news story depicts threats of rape as well as violence. –Trans.]

A trans woman in Ankara almost lost her hand following a knife attack. She told Kaos GL about her experience during the attack, the neglect from the police, and how she was tagged as “military deserter” in the process.

bihter-at-kaosglSource: Ömer Akpınar, “Trans kadına sallamalı saldırı: Kafayı kolla kızım!” [“Knife attack against trans woman”], Kaos GL, 28 April 2015, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=19280

Bihter is a trans woman living in Ankara. She risked losing her left hand following an attack on the night of April 7. She was hospitalized for two weeks and currently has 172 stitches in her hand. When the police remained indifferent to her efforts to find justice, the Gelincik Project by the Ankara Bar Association offered her legal support. Bihter, who lost her wedding ring and her solitaire ring along with 230 liras [$85], talked about her experiences with Kaos GL.


Trans woman sex worker missing since September 2014

Twenty-six-year-old trans woman Damla Araz, who was working as a sex worker out of necessity in the Şişli district of Istanbul, has been missing for one month [since September 2014]. Araz’s friends insist on the possibility that the trans woman was kidnapped by members of an Islamic cemaat [congregation, community].

Source: Michelle Demishevich, “Seks işçisi trans kadın, bir aydır kayıp” (“Trans woman sex worker missing for one month”) T24, 5 October 2014, http://t24.com.tr/haber/seks-iscisi-trans-kadin-kayip,272928

Was the trans woman murdered?

Along with two trans friends of hers, Damla Araz, who lived on Halaskargazi Avenue, survived by working as a sex worker at nights, again on the same avenue. One of her housemates, Roza Yılmaz, said that they had not been able to get news of Damla Araz for a long time and went to the Şişli Police Station and asked for help. But when the police officers on duty at the Şişli Police Station explained that only close relatives of the first degree were to come and file a missing person report, Roza Yılmaz and her friends began a search on their own resources. Roza Yılmaz said, “We are worried that Damla has been killed. We asked the police for assistance, but they have not done much. Damla was a beloved person in her circle.”

Halaskargazi Avenue, Istanbul (Source: Openstreetmaps)

Halaskargazi Avenue, Istanbul(Source: Openstreetmaps) 

Rozerin Seda Kip, a lawyer from the Istanbul Bar Association, responded to the failure of the Şişli Police Center to take Damla Araz’s friends’ request seriously, saying: “Missing person reports are expected to be filed first by members of the family. The police were obligated to evaluate Damla Araz’s personal information together with the report submitted by her friends. Because here the issue is a trans woman, and the possibility of a hate crime is a high-priority matter. In the laws there is no such provision; this is entirely an arbitrary approach taken by the police.”

The last person to see Damla Araz was her hair dresser, Güneş Nişantaşı. Nişantaşı said the following concerning the disappearance of Damla Araz:

“On the day she last came, she was cheerful and smiling, as usual. Moreover, she mentioned having a happy relationship with her boyfriend. She went in front of the mirror and said, ‘I am a very beautiful woman,’ and applied her lipstick and left. I am afraid; I hope she was not the victim of a hate crime.”


A trans woman in Tarlabaşı has been stabbed in the back

Source: Yıldız Tar. “Tarlabaşı’nda trans kadın sırtından bıçaklandı.” (“A trans woman in Tarlabaşı has been stabbed in the back.”) Kaos GL, 20 October 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17754

A trans woman in Tarlabaşı, Istanbul, has been stabbed in the back; the police failed to intervene. Lawyer Levent Pişkin evaluated the situation, saying that “the increase in attacks is related to the Islamic conservatism. That the assailants remain ‘unidentified’ is the covering up of the crime.”

Source: Kaos GL

Source: Kaos GL

Transphobic hate attacks have been increasing lately. In a new attack, on Saturday, October 18, 2014, a trans woman, Aylin, was stabbed in Tarlabaşı, Istanbul.


Transgender people were not taken to the hospital, instead, their bodies would be dumped on the highway

Source: Michelle Demishevich, “Translar hastaneye alınmaz, cesetleri otobanda bırakılırdı” (“Trans people were not taken to the hospital, instead, their bodies would be dumped on the highway”) T24, 11 October 2014, http://t24.com.tr/haber/translar-hastaneye-alinmaz-cesetleri-otobanda-birakilirdi,273578

Forty-year-old LGBTI activist H.Y. described the brutality that the police inflicted on transgender women at the Gayrettepe Police Headquarters at the end of the ’90s.

Leaving her family when she was 14 years old, H.Y. had no choice but to engage in sex work in order to survive. In 1996, when she was 17 years old, H.Y. was taken into custody while performing sex work out of necessity in Merter, and underwent torture for a week at the Gayrettepe Police Headquarters.

Currently 40 years old, LGBTI activist H.Y. told T24 about the oppression and torture that the police perpetrated against transgender women. Stating that police torture was systematically perpetrated against trans women sex workers for a period lasting from 1996 to 1999, she said, “The police would dump our dying friends on the highway and leave.”

Explaining that during the time she engaged in sex work in Merter she and her friends were frequently subjected to police brutality, H.Y. described those days as follows:

“While we were in Merter, the police would want to arrest us, and we would flee. They had cudgels in their hands and would throw them at our feet so that we would trip. The cudgel would land around our feet and we would trip. In fact, many of our friends died because of this. On the highway, cars would run over trans women. The police would dump our dying friends there and leave.”


The Bar Association: ‘We do not assign lawyers to transvestites’

Source: “Trans seks işçisine önce silahlı bıçaklı saldırı, ardından adliyede ayrımcılık!” (“First, armed assault against a trans sex worker, then discrimination at the Court House”). Pembe Hayat, 9 October 2014, http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=516


Serap, a sex worker who was subjected to an armed assault in Corum, was shot in the leg and stabbed. [Though the assailants were apprehended, the Bar Association refused to assign a lawyer to Serap on the basis that she is a trans individual.]

[Serap, a trans individual, was subjected to armed assault yesterday evening.] Another development regarding this incident occurred at around noon today at the Corum Courthouse. Serap requested that a lawyer be assigned to her from the Corum Bar Association. The clerks at the Bar Association denied her request, saying “We do not assign lawyers to transvestites.” Following the incident, our foundation [Pembe Hayat] contacted a lawyer operating out of Corum but the lawyer informed us that they would not be able to pursue the case. Serap, frustrated by the discrimination she experienced, said that she will take the necessary steps against those who are responsible.

Pembe Hayat is following this case closely and will continue to report on the developments.

Armed assault against trans sex worker

Source: “Trans seks işçisine önce silahlı bıçaklı saldırı, ardından adliyede ayrımcılık!” (“First, armed assault against a trans sex worker, then discrimination at the Court House”). Pembe Hayat, 9 October 2014, http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=516


Serap, a sex worker who was subjected to an armed assault in Corum, was shot in the leg and stabbed. The police apprehended three suspects in light of Serap’s witness statement. She was able to get away from the assailants and reached the Corum State Hospital.

The event occurred yesterday evening in a wooded area outside the city. Serap, who recounted her experiences to a reporter from Pembe Hayat, said that she knew the assailants, that she was first subjected to verbal abuse from one of the assailants for not answering her phone, and that the same person invited her to a meeting. She added that she was taken to Melikgazi Hill and then the assailants started attacking her, first with knives and then kicking her head, then they shot her in the leg. Serap recounted that she was able to benefit from a moment of commotion and escape, saying that her witness statement to the police contained these very facts. Serap was released from the hospital after being treated for her wounds. Three people were apprehended by the police after they found both Serap’s blood and the casing of the bullet that had hit Serap in the leg inside the suspects’ car.

[The Bar Association later refused to assign Serap a lawyer on the basis that she is a trans individual.]

“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.