Source: Michelle Demishevich, ‘Toplumun intihara sürüklediği trans bireylerin ölümleri nefret cinayetidir’ (The deaths of trans people driven to suicide by society are hate crimes.) T24, 6 January 2015, http://t24.com.tr/haber/toplumun-intihara-surukledigi-trans-bireylerin-olumleri-nefret-cinayetidir,282879
Eylül Cansın, who committed suicide by jumping off the Istanbul Boğaziçi Bridge, drew attention to increasing transphobic sentiment and violence.
LGBTI organizations held simultaneous protests in Istanbul and Ankara after the death of Eylül Cansın, a 23 year old who committed suicide by jumping off the Istanbul Boğaziçi Bridge.
During the rally in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, LGBTI activists marched from Tünel to Galatasaray Square with a banner reading “You can’t extort or exert violence on trans sex workers.” holding up placards and shouting out slogans.
Pink Life LGBTI, Istanbul LGBTT, Kaos GL, Black Pink Triangle LGBTI, Freedom to Earth Association, Protection and Development of Animal Rights Association, Pink Caretta LGBTQ, Kars Platform Against Homophobia and Transpohobia, Malatya Youth Initiative Against Homophobia and Transpohobia, Hevi LGBTI, Socialist Salvation Party (SYKP) and Revolutionary Highschoolers attended the event in Ankara’s Yüksel Street that took place at the same time.
The group, marching against transphobia despite ill weather, gave a press conference in Galatasaray Square. The strict security measures taken by Istanbul Riot Police and the presence of a TOMA, an intervention vehicle for social events, stood out. LGBTQ activist Yağmur Beyrut read the press release on behalf of the group.
Yağmur Beyrut, who raised concerns about the growing violence against trans women nowadays, said: “The sex trade, which often stands as the only option for trans women, does not provide safer working conditions than 19th century coal mines did. Sex workers are forced, day by day, to work under less job security, all-the-while facing greater risk of occupational violence and homicide. They face increasing rivalry and prevalent employment problems due to the reduction of spaces allocated to them and the growing pressures put on them.”
Eylül Cansın, who was a 23 year old trans woman, committed suicide by jumping off the Boğaziçi Bridge. In a video she recorded before her suicide, she said: “I wanted to work but they didn’t let me. I can not stand it anymore.” Eylül Cansın called to attention the recently emerging “trans mobs” in her video which she shared on the social networking website Facebook. Eylül Cansın, who used to live alone on Bagdat Street, Kadikoy, had been subjected to violence by persons named Duygu Buket, Kumsal Güldiken, Elçin Canözü and Ali Ercan Güldiken before her suicide and had filed a criminal complaint against the perpetrators at İskele Police Station.
It has been reported that Eylül Cansın recounted the troubles that befell her to the police officers trying to persuade her to step back from the bridge and gave them the names of some of her aggressors before she committed suicide. Upon further investigation, police forces took Duygu Buket, whose name was mentioned in the complaint in İskele Police Station, into custody for coercing a suicide.
Yankı Bayramoğlu denied allegations
A letter was released on the social networking website Facebook under the name of Nurcan Zengin, mother of Eylül Cansın. In this letter, the person claiming to be Nurcan Zengin wrote down the causes behind Eylül Cansın’s suicide one by one and made certain allegations while naming names.
Amongst the many names mentioned was that of Yankı Bayramoğlu, a Turkish Trans Beauty Queen. It was claimed that two years prior to the suicide, Yankı Bayramoğlu had extorted 6500 Liras from Eylül Cansın and had assaulted her. Yankı Bayramoğlu, who denied all allegations, said “This is all erroneous hearsay. I frequently receive vulgar, insulting messages on social networking websites. I believe I am being targeted by way of these accusations and the letter claimed to be written by her mother was actually written by other people. The late Eylül Cansın was my roommate and due to certain disagreements we decided to part our ways. I understand her mother’s pain, my mother too wailed upon Eylül’s loss. The last I heard from Eylül was when she sent me a message over WhatsApp celebrating new year.” Bayramoğlu mentioned that the real culprits were the trans mobs that coerced Eylül Cansın to suicide and the society, adding her wishes for the guilty to be caught at once.
“Eylül Cansın had started using drugs”
Another name that got mentioned was Kumsal Güldiken’s. Stating that she used to be housemates with Eylül Cansın, Kumsal Güldiken said “Eylül Cansın had fallen into depression lately. She was experiencing certain problems. I learned that she had started using alcohol and drugs.”
Güldiken, who said that they had gotten into an argument on Bağdat Street around two months before, continued “One night Eylül Cansın came by our house. We got into a quarrel and she started running. While running she tripped and toppled over into a well. We learned that she had filed a complaint but nevertheless, we made peace at the police station.”
Indicating that no one had any part in Eylül Cansın’s suicide, Kumsal Güldiken claimed that the real reason behind the suicide was Cansın’s depression.
On the other hand, the Istanbul LGBTT Association stated that in light of the recent investigation they led after the many complaints from female trans sex workers, they were going to file criminal complaints against alleged trans mobs and their members through Eren Keskin, a lawyer.
Ege University LeGeBiT Sexual Orientation and Sexual Identity Research Association will issue a press statement and protest against the trans murders and deaths in memory of Eylül Cansın in front of Alsancak Railroad Station on 07 January 2015 at 6:30 PM.
Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/
To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.
Table of Contents
IRC / Chatlines
- The Trevor Project Chatline, available 7 days a week (3pm-9pm ET / 12pm-6pm PT).
- Freenode.net chatroom/channels: #transspace
- National Suicide Prevention Chatline, 24/7.
- GLBT National Chatline, available 6 days a week (monday-friday 1pm-9pm PT / 4pm-midnight ET; saturday 9am-2pm PT / noon-5pm ET).
- Lifeline Crisis Chat, available 7 days a week (2pm-2am ET).
- RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, 24/7.
Communities / Forums / Safe Spaces
- FAQs about crisis hotlines – via Reddit
- The Trevor Project, USA, 24/7: 1-866-488-7386
- Trans Lifeline, Canada: 1-877-330-6366; USA: 1-877-565-8860 (schedule)
- List / index of crisis centers around the world: via Reddit; via International Association for Suicide Prevention; via Befrienders Worldwide
- The Trevor Project, USA, Fridays (4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. PT): Text the word “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200. Standard text messaging rates apply.