LGBTI Activist Attacked in Their Home: “They’ll release us anyway: You’ll have to deal with the consequences” 

One of the founders of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (Kırmızı Şemsiye), Kemal Ördek, was raped in their home. The police commented, “Enough with this Tribe of Lot.” The assailants who said, “Officer, we’re manly men. You understand us, don’t you?” were released. You can also read Kemal’s letter

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu. “LGBTİ Aktivistine Evinde Saldırı: Nasılsa Serbest Kalırız, Sen Düşün” (“LGBTI Activist Attacked in Their Home: “They’ll release us anyway: You’ll have to deal with the consequences”), Bianet, 8 July 2015, http://m.bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/165878-lgbti-aktivistine-evinde-saldiri-nasilsa-serbest-kaliriz-sen-dusun

Founder and chairperson of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association Kemal Ördek was robbed and raped in their home in Ankara. A police officer at the police station reacted by saying “Enough with this tribe of Lot.” [1]

It has been three days since the attack. At the police station the assailants threatened Ördek by saying, “We know where you live now. They’ll release us anyway and you’ll have to deal with the consequences.” The assailants are free and they continue to harass Ördek on their cell phone.

Kemal Ördek’s attorney told Bianet that the prosecutor who is responsible for the police station in question released the assailants without a trial. At the moment, the case is in the hands of the public prosecutor. Four attorneys continue efforts to collect evidence.

They took Ördek to an ATM to withdraw money

Kemal Ördek is an activist who has been working for LGBTI and sex workers’ rights for years. Two men appeared at their door on Sunday night. One of them raped Ördek and they confiscated Ördek’s cell phone. Then, they called a relative and gave them Ördek’s address.

The two men demanded money from Ördek. When they found out that they did not have any cash at home, they took Ördek to an ATM machine. Ördek spotted a police car near the ATM, ran to the police and described what had just happened.

The assailants: “We’ll be fine, right, brother policeman?” 

Ördek recounts the ensuing events as follows: “The police shut me up when I tried to tell them what happened. They said, ‘Be quiet. Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to!’ In the meantime, the policemen calmly listened to the perpetrators as they said: ‘Officer, we’re manly men. You understand us, don’t you? Don’t listen to what this faggot has to say,’ ‘Officer, he invited us in, you know how they are’.”

Afterwards, the policemen got in their car to take Ördek and the assailants to the police station. During the ride, the perpetrators were threatening Ördek by telling them that they would rape them again and kill them. Turning to the police, they continued chatting, “We’ll be fine, right, brother policeman? I mean, we have families and everything,” “don’t make us suffer because of this faggot, you and us, we understand each other, right brother?”

“You know what will happen if you don’t drop this”

When they arrived at the police station the assailants told Ördek: “Drop this case. You know what will happen if you don’t,” “We know where you live now. They’ll release us anyway and you’ll have to deal with the consequences.” Meanwhile, the police found Ördek’s cell phone, which the perpetrators had left in the car. Then, one of the officers took Ördek outside of the station and asked them: “Will you drop the charges if we find your phone?” after which he gave Ördek his phone back.

Police: “You were not raped, how are you coming up with all this?” 

As Ördek was waiting for his attorney outside of the police station, they heard a police officer enter the station saying, “Enough with this Tribe of Lot.” Ördek said:

“When my attorney arrived, we sat together outside of the station to talk. It was time for the pre-dawn (sahur) Ramadan meal and there were officers sitting around in the garden and eating… They were talking about me, laughing out loud, saying things like ‘Look what a big deal he made out of a small incident of robbery’… One of the policemen said loudly to the others, ‘These people rose against the government during Gezi’.”

The assailants were taken to the hospital for a health check at which time Ördek delivered his statement at the police station. The policemen recording the statement had earlier told Ördek outside of the station: “You were not raped, how are you coming up with all this?” As Ördek was dictating his statement, the policeman intervened saying, “This statement is too long to be recorded; keep it short. I am being lenient and understanding here. Just describe it briefly.”

Ördek received a hospital report. However, they saw that the police report was based on the narrative provided by the assailants, so Ördek refused to sign it. Ördek then applied to issue a protection and a restraining order.

The prosecution released the three assailants and they continue to harass Ördek on their cell phone.

[1] Tribe of Lot refers to the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the twin cities which Prophet Lot was sent to with God’s message and were destroyed by God when the community did not reign in its lust. The trope is often used against LGBT communities in the Muslim world. Posters by a group called the Young Islamic Defense appeared in Ankara streets in July 2015. The poster reads, “If you see someone engaged in the dirty business of the tribe of Lot, kill the doer and the done both.”

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