“Instead of a Separate Prison, Conditions in Current Ones Should Be Improved”

Source: “LGBTİ’lere Ayrı Cezaevi Yerine Koşulları İyileştirsinler” (“Instead of a Separate Prison, Conditions in Current Ones Should Be Improved”), 20 April 2014,

The debate for “separate prisons” for LGBTI inmates continues. “Isolation is already a part of prison life. Their priority should be preventing harassment of inmates by correctional officers”, “Instead of a separate prison, conditions in existing ones should be improved.”

The public discussion on the project to build separate prisons for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) individuals still continues in the press.  A reporter from the daily “Milliyet”, Aydil Durgun, asked the organizations Kaos GL, Hêvî LGBTİ, T-Der and SPoD LGBT for their thoughts on the debate started by the Ministry of Justice.

“Isolation is already a part of prison life”

Hayriye KARA, Attorney at Law (Kaos GL): “In Turkish Prisons, LGBTI individuals are already segregated due to their sexual orientations and sexual identities. They are, in a way, re-imprisoned in the prison population. Especially trans inmates are segregated citing “security” concerns. They are isolated, shunned and deprived of social activities. They are also kept from working; thus, left without income for personal items during their sentence.  Besides, Turkey has already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for its present treatment of LGBTI inmates.”

“There is no mention of rights violations committed by correctional officers.”

“Planning a separate prison project for LGBTI inmates before even considering improving the existing conditions in prisons is only a step to further isolate LGBTI individuals from society. Instead of combating social prejudices and striving for the human rights of LGBTI individuals, the government plans to build a separate prison not unlike a concentration camp citing ‘the security of LGBTI people.’

There is no mention of rights violations by correctional officers or ways to fight these occurrences in the project description. This proves their sincerity on the so-called ‘security’ aspect. A separate LGBTI prison is only another way to isolate, brand, expose and discriminate. This application is brazenly in violation of human rights as well as local and international laws. It is the institutionalization of the discrimination against LGBTI individuals.”


Trans Prisoner on Hunger Strike: “I realized I was not alone, Thank You!”

Kaos GL, “Açlık Grevindeki Trans Mahpus: Yalnız Olmadığımın Farkına Vardım, Teşekkürler!“ (“Trans Prisoner on Hunger Strike: “I realized I was not alone, Thank You!””), 24 April 2014,

Avşa, the trans convict who went on hunger strike after repeated violations of her rights, ended her strike on April 13th when she was promised that her demands would be heard. Attorney Banu Güveren, who met her on Monday, April 21st, said she was currently under medical treatment.

Avşa, whose hunger strike we were made aware of by her letter to us on April 10th, told Attorney Banu Güveren that she had not imagined her voice being heard as swiftly as it did.

“I Realized I was not Alone”

Avşa said that she was very moved by all the help and had realized that she was not alone. She expressed her gratitude to everyone who had helped in getting her voice heard. She also thanked the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP Halil Aksoy, who had submitted an official query to the Ministry of Justice on Avşa’s situation.

Avşa and other inmates had started their hunger strike after repeatedly being subjected to insults, threats, sexual harassment, rape and violence as well as other violations of their rights, such as refusing the inmates requests to be taken to the infirmary or hospital and refusing to submit inmates’ petitions.

After some of these events various LGBTI inmates, including Avşa, attempted suicide.

Avşa, who had recently been transferred to Kocaeli 2 T-type Prison, ended her hunger strike only after the prosecutor in charge of Kandıra Prison offered to listen to her demands and help her. Avşa is currently in Kocaeli Prison, staying in a ward reserved for LGBTI inmates and says she has not encountered any problems since her arrival.


BDP MP Queries Minister About Trans Prisoner’s Condition

Kaos GL, “BDP’li Aksoy Trans Mahkumun Durumunu Bakan’a Sordu,” (“BDP MP Queries Minister About Trans Prisoner’s Condition”), 17 April 2014,

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP from Ağrı District has made an inquiry on Avşa’s, a trans prisoner on hunger strike, condition to the Minister of Justice.

Halil Aksoy, a Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP from Ağrı, has submitted a query to the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdağ, on the situation of Avşa Erkuşan, a trans convict who has repeatedly been subjected to sexual harassment and assault in various prisons during her sentence and who, for the past two months, has been on a hunger strike.

Aksoy, after expressing that several human rights infringements remain in correctional institutions, mentioned that trans inmates in Bafra T-type Prison had started a hunger strike after many rights violations and sexual assaults.


Yeni Akit: Support to Perverts From BDP and CHP

Source: Furkan Altınok, “BDP ve CHP’den Sapkınlara Destek,” (“Support to Perverts From BDP and CHP,”) 3 February 2013, Yeni Akit,

Yeni Akit is a conservative daily newspaper that engages in hate speech against LGBTI people and other groups. This is a verbatim translation. 

The CHP and BDP have turned into sponsors of perversion. Their “support for perversion” is clear in their reaction to the latest Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) Disciplinary Law, in which homosexuality and similar perversions remain grounds for dismissal.

The CHP (Republican People’s Party) and BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) expressed their support for the sexual deviants in their protest against the recent Armed Forces Disciplinary Law. The passing of the new law, which kept the same charges for homosexuality and similar perversions as in its older version, caused the CHP and BDP legislators to  back KAOS GL, an organization of sexual deviancy.


BDP Sebahat Tuncel’s Parliamentary Question on the Military

Source: Sebahat Tuncel, “Soru Önergesi,” “Parliamentary Question,” 3 May 2012,

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Peace and Democracy Party
No: 992
Date: 03.05.2012

To the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Speaker’s Office:

I request that the Minister of National Defense Mr. İsmet Yılmaz provide written replies to the questions I hereby submit, in accordance with the 98th bylaw of the Constitution and the 99th bylaw of the Standing Orders.

Sebahat Tuncel,

Istanbul Deputy

Mandatory military service has been abolished in nearly every European country, yet it continues in Turkey today. Many youths are against the mandatory military system for conscientious, political or belief-related reasons, by objecting to militarism or due to their sexual orientation. The right to object to mandatory military service is included in international agreements and it is recognized as a “right” in law. However, such objection is still viewed as a crime in Turkey. Those who suffer most in relation to this are young men who wish not to serve in the military due to their sexual orientation. Unlike the respect they receive in democratic countries, in Turkey, those with different sexual orientations are considered to have “character disorders.” They are subjected to pressure and othering by the state and multiple sectors of society.


BDP Tuncel’s Questions on Transphobia and the Minister of Interior Şahin’s Response


GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY                                            11472


NO: 1586

DATE: 10.10.2012


I request that my questions below be answered in writing according to the Constitution’s 98th and the Statute’s 99th article by the Minister of Interior İdris Naim ŞAHİN.

Sebahat TUNCEL

Istanbul Parliamentarian

Trans individuals continue to be the biggest victims of hate speech and hate crimes in Turkey. The last instance of this happened in Istanbul. On the evening hours of 7 October 2012 in Istanbul’s Avcılar district, a group of people gathered with an attempt of lynching in a compound where trans individuals live. The 50-60 people crowd which gathered in front of the house to lynch trans individuals chanted the slogan “we will die for honor, we will give our lives” and incited the public to hate. It has been stated that the police did not intervene in the crowds who attempted to enter the homes of trans individuals. It is said that a retired prosecutor or soldier has used hate speech against the trans individuals who have lived in the compound for years. They stated that these protests would last another week and that they would gather again the next Saturday. With the announcement that these events would go on every week, LGBT people stated their worry that these could escalate into hate murders.


BDP Akat Ata’s Questions to the Minister of Family and Social Policies


Peace and Democracy Party’s Batman Parliament Member Ayla Akat Ata’s questions regarding hate crimes and the murders of trans individuals to the Family and Social Minister Fatma Şahin submitted on 30 July 2013.

I request my questions below to be answered by Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin in accordance with Clause 98 of the constitution and Clause 99 of the statute.

                                                                                                     Ayla AKAT ATA

                                                                                               BDP Batman Parliament Member

Trans individuals continue to be the biggest victims of discourses of hate and hate killings in Turkey. There have been 6 hate killings of trans individuals in Turkey in 2012. In 2013, this number has reached 4 by the end of July: one in Düzce, one in Kuşadası, and two in Istanbul. Then again this desperate situation just reflects the ones that have been made public- in reality, the real number must be higher. The violence against LGBT individuals in general, and against trans individuals in particular will continue to increase unless legal precautions regarding hate crimes are taken. Most recently on 27 July 2013, the murder of a trans individual living in Beyoğlu, Istanbul named Gaye has relaunched the discussion on hate crimes and has increased the public’s demand for legal and factual precautions on this issue.


BDP Kürkçü’s Support of CHP Motion to Investigate LGBT Problems

Source: eshmovie, “BDP’li Ertuğrul Kürkçü: Bütüm mesele ‘homo’ olamdığın halde ‘homoların’ hakkını savunabilmektir,” (“BDP’s Ertuğrul Kürkçü:  The whole issue is defending the rights of ‘homos’ even if you are not a ‘homo’,”) 29 May 2013,

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Parliament Member Ertuğrul Kürkçü’s speech at The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) on 29 May 2013.

Note: Motion was rejected after parliamentary vote.

Esteemed Minister, dear friends, we support the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) call for an inquiry motion. We are grateful to our dear friend Binnaz Toprak for instigating this; she has helped put forth a very important issue.

This issue’s importance is not only about putting the rights of people within the mentioned sexual orientation group on the agenda, but also about emphasizing the fact that we cannot defend anybody’s rights if we don’t defend theirs. We will not be able to defend LGBT individuals’ rights if we don’t defend women’s rights, or Kurds’ rights, or the poor’s, or the worker’s. All rights are tied to each other at the core. You cannot make us or others think that you actually defend people’s rights if you neglect or deny one group’s.

Of course, we have a very valuable ally. In a TV show aired in 2002, the esteemed Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan stated: “It is mandatory to put the rights and freedoms of homosexuals under legal protection. We do not find the situations they are in, which we can view on some TV channels from time to time, to be humane.” We agree on few issues, but on this issue, we are in agreement. I wonder if he still thinks this way or will he call us “the tribe of Lot” when this issue is discussed. But let us take a look at some statistics to show us why we need to inquire into the state of LGBT individuals, who are at the center of this issue.