Police violence against trans women in İskitler, Ankara

Source: “Police violence against trans women in İskitler, Ankara” (“Ankara İskitler’de Trans Kadınlara Polis Şiddeti”) , Pembe Hayat, April 26, 2018,  http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=1724

On the evening of April 26, 2018, trans sex workers were subjected to police violence while working in the İskitler neighborhood of Ankara. A police officer assaulted 2 trans women sex workers and a client after shooting in the air.

The systematic violence against trans women working in İskitler was initiated by an order from the Governorship of Ankara in 2016 and such violence has manifested itself recently. Trans women sex workers who have been exposed to systematic harassment, maltreatment and torture by the law enforcers were threatened with firearms last night [April 26].

A police officer approached a trans woman inside a vehicle and punched a male client and assaulted him with his baton after taking him out of the vehicle. Then the officer forced the refugee trans woman out of the car and started hitting her with his radio. The officer continued his assault by shouting at the trans woman and shooting in the air. The police officer retreated after confrontation with other trans women who arrived at the scene, but assaulted again the initially attacked sex worker trans woman who followed the officer. The police officer also attacked a trans woman who was recording the incident on her phone, kicking her hand after telling her ‘she is not allowed to record’.

Following the incident, the police officer attempted to destroy the evidence by collecting the casings. Meanwhile, trans women called the police and demanded a squad, explaining the incident. A squad arrived the scene, yet took off after calming everyone down and without undertaking any official procedures.

Police violence against trans women in İskitler, Ankara has been increasing. On the evening of April 10, a police officer assaulted a trans women after forcing her out of a vehicle passing through the neighbourhood. Two days prior to the incident on April 8th, police harassed trans women, telling them that will not be allowed to work in İskitler.

Trans women say that they hesitate to file complaints and that they do not have sufficient confidence in the justice system following these incidents of violence perpetrated by the police. In their reasoning trans women point to an overall negligence of law enforcers in other cases of violence, aside from repeated harassment and violent at the hands of the police.

A group of assailants on April 5 in İskitler attacked trans women with sticks. Trans women went to İsmetpaşa Precinct to press charges, but the police tried to pacify them to avoid any charges and were neglectful of their complaints.

Pink Life’s reports on the recent cases of violence in İskitler indicate that there have been cases of sexual harassments and especially against clients examples of physical torture.


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