In a park in Antep, trans women were attacked. The police officers responded to the incident by arresting the women who were attacked. The police also harassed the women during custody, saying “how can a man be girly?”. After the attack, tape was attached over the park bench. We talked to İffet, who is one of the people taken into custody, about the event.
Source: Trans women were attacked in Antep, the police took the women into custody (Antep’te trans kadınlar saldırıya uğradı, polis kadınları gözaltına aldı), Yusuf Gülsevgi, Kaos GL, https://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=28341&fbclid=IwAR30FUuLdHFlsaFGv01ZNgU28t0saYKoMS4Kf3M-dxIENfS0IL12WWwlBiY, June 18, 2019
Can you introduce yourself to us briefly?
Of course. I am İffet, I am a 31 years-old transvestite. I work as a sex worker for a living. The moment when I started transitioning, people turned me into a vampire. In other words; I am home during the day time and on the streets during the night time. I live like a vampire. That is all.
You were attacked in Çınarlı Park. How did it happen?
It happened like this: I go to the park with the girls almost every night to find a client. There was an argy-bargy situation two days ago. Some people attacked one of our friends. The police officers arrived immediately. They took all of us into custody and released us the next day. When we came back to the park, we realized that they had covered the benches with tape and a police car was standing by.
You said that you were taken into custody, how did the police officers treat you there? Were you harassed physically or psychologically?
I swear you are nuts. There is a transvestite and a police officer, how can the officer stay silent in this situation? (Laughs) Not physically, but I was harassed verbally.
What did they say?
“What’s all this fuss in the middle of the night? You were the last thing we needed tonight. How can a man be girly?” they said.
You mentioned about tape being tied up to the benches…
To me, this means that they don’t want us. In other words, this means that a battle has started. I was born a fighter. I have always fought with people and I still live. And I will fight to win this battle.
Right after all this, the manager of the teachers’ lodge close to the park announced that LGBTI+s cannot enter the public coffee house of the lodge. What do you think about this decision?
There is a human rights violation here. The manager of the teachers’ lodge paves the way for discrimination through this decision, gives hatred a green light. What kind of morality is this, invading our living spaces?
What is your message about all the happenings?
I am not the first transvestite, nor will I be the last one. We have existed throughout history and we will exist in the future, too.