Rights Violations in 2014

Rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in 2014 in Turkey

Çingene Gül, Trans Woman, Murdered in Istanbul

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Trans Çingene Gül Öldürüldü,” (“Çingene Gül, Trans Woman, Murdered in Istanbul,”) bianet, 9 October 2014, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/159065-trans-cingene-gul-olduruldu#

Çingene Gül, a trans woman, was found dead in her Istanbul apartment on October 8. While the autopsy is yet to be completed, it is suspected that she was murdered two days ago because her friends didn’t hear from her for two days.

Her neighbor Melek Emir said,  “Two nights ago, I heard noises from the apartment building. Gül never makes noise. At first, I thought somebody was trying to break in, then I heard the door open and close. I supposed Gül couldn’t find her keys or something. I never reckoned such a thing would ever happen.”

Gül’s street is crowded with police officers investigating the events and onlookers after her friends found her body. All the women in the neighborhood recognize Gül. “She smiled all the time, she would greet everyone on the street. She wouldn’t disturb anybody.”

Gül’s trans friends argued with the police in order to see her one last time. Police said they could do so in small groups provided that they wouldn’t cry out, touch her or bring disorder to the crime scene.

Her friends claim that trans sex workers are usually murdered by their clients – which they think was also the fate of Gül. They also said Gül didn’t receive customers in her apartment and preferred to use hotels or other venues. They also brought up the possibility of burglary. However, police said that it was not possible to know that at the time.

Utku who found Gül’s body and said, “I went to her apartment after not hearing from her. I knocked on the window, I tried the doorbell, but she didn’t respond. Then her upstairs neighbor buzzed me into the building. I had to break into Gül’s apartment via the backyard. She wasn’t in her bedroom. When I went to the living room, I saw her lying on the floor and I ran away screaming.”


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.]

Doctor who denied right to medical care sues her trans patient

This post includes original content without a translatable publication source.


As reported previously, on March 31 2014, following her sex reassignment surgery, H.Ç. visited Dr. Fatma Hut at the Reşat Berger Hospital in order to get her prescriptions filled, through her existing social (state) insurance. Consequently, in violation of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12 and General Comment No. 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the recommendations set forth in the preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, and Articles 17 and 56 of the Constitution of Turkey as interpreted by Turkey’s supreme court[1], Dr. Fatma Hut denied H.Ç. her right to medical care and refused to prescribe medications that were necessary for H.Ç’s treatment following her surgery, arguing: “You are a man, I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you.”

Partly because such cases are pursued by volunteer lawyers at SPoD, immediate action could not be taken and a complaint was not filed immediately following the event.

Some time after this encounter, H.Ç. received an automated SMS (text message) from the judicial UYAP Information System, informing her that a complaint had been filed against her, that she was under investigation, and that she was legally obligated to appear before the office of public prosecution. Not knowing the nature nor the cause of the investigation, H.Ç. arrived at the prosecutor’s office on September 8th and inquired about the situation to one of the administrative assistants there. As it turns out, two days after their encounter on March 31, Dr. Fatma Hut had filed a criminal complaint against H.Ç., arguing that she had insulted her. Upon receiving the complaint, the public prosecutor decided to further investigate this complaint and to call H.Ç. for her testimony as the defendant/ suspect[2]. Surprised by the news, H.Ç. later returned to the office of public prosecution and submitted her statement.

Following Hut’s preemptive legal maneuver, H.Ç. and her lawyer filed their complaint against the doctor that same day.

The following week, H.Ç. received another SMS through the Turkish court system. The message informed her that she was being called to testify before a judge as the defendant in the case on December 25, 2014 at 10am. The public prosecutor, who also refused to treat H.Ç. as a woman in his formal dealings with her with the excuse that she had not received her pink ID yet[3], had decided to convert the investigation into a full fledged lawsuit.

H.Ç. and her lawyer are hoping that their complaint will also develop into a lawsuit and be merged with the doctor’s case.


Discrimination at State Hospital: ‘I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you!’

Source: “Devlet Hastanesinde Ayrımcılık: ‘ Durumunuzu tasvip etmiyorum, sizi muayene etmem!’” (“Discrimination at state Hospital: ‘I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you!’”), SPoD, 1 April 2014, Accessed 2 October 2014,  http://www.spod.org.tr/turkce/devlet-hastanesinde-ayrimcilik-durumunuzu-tasvip-etmiyorum-sizi-muayene-etmem/

Click here for an update on this event.

On March 31 at around 11:30am, a Trans woman who presented at the Department of General Surgery and was then referred to the Gynecology Department of Reşat Belger Göz Eğitim Araştırma Hastanesi (Eyesight Training and Research Hospital) was subjected to discrimination on the basis of her gender identity and the doctor denied her right to health care.


Press Statement by luBunya Students on Singer’s Homophobic Statements

Source: luBunya-Bogazici [Bosphorus University Student Organization against Heterosexism], “Basına, Kamuoyuna ve Tüm İnsan Hakları Destekçilerine Duyurulur!” (“For immediate release to press and public and all of the civil right supporters”), Facebook, 17 September 2014, https://m.facebook.com/LuBUnyaBogazici/photos/a.152506168117885.25456.132128600155642/742015985833564/?type=1

The singer named Fatma Uludan Canevi, known as Niran Unsal, commits a crime of provoking the public to hate and hostility or insulting it via her social media account.

Canevi makes offensive statements openly by using the published photos of the audience who went to a legally organized concert [by Lady Gaga]. The photos of the audience show them wearing self-designed clothes in the concert area.

Canevi shared a photo of a person from the audience with a green wig and pink clothes via her social media account and tweeted: “We are not interested in your sexual preferences, go live in your home! We will not let you be role models for our children with such quackery.”

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Canevi said “This is the main reason why we worry” by using the photos of other members of the audience with wigs and glasses. And “Mothers and fathers, it is our humane duty to say STOP to all of those poisoning the youth of this country!”


Trans woman prevented from entering the Turkish parliament: “If you have a blue ID, you are a man”

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “Trans kadına Meclis engeli: Mavi kimliğin varsa erkeksin!“ (“Trans woman prevented from entering the Turkish parliament: ‘If you have a blue ID, you are a man’”), KaosGL, 19 September 2014, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17552

A trans woman was discriminated against this morning [September 19, 2014] prior to a press conference to be held by the CHP (Republican People’s Party) MP Aykan Erdemir at the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The woman who wished to attend the meeting concerning LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) rights was asked to go through security checkpoint designated for men on the grounds that she carried a blue identity card.


Buse Kılıçkaya from the Pink Life Association spoke with KaosGL.org about the incident that occurred at the security check before the press meeting:

“I have been going to the Grand National Assembly to attend these civil rights meetings since 2000. This morning we went through the pre-search without a problem; at the second search, there was a security detector marked as “woman” and I naturally chose that one. There was a commotion as they were searching my bag. I sensed that the security officer felt the need to confer with their friends about a matter. Since I had entered through here before, I assumed that the issue had something to do with the materials we brought, but that was not the case.”