Ismail Saymaz from the Radikal newspaper and Yıldız Tar from Kaos GL participated in the “Hate Crimes” panel, on “Hrant Dink and Zirve Publishing House Assassinations” and “Sexual Orientation- and Gender Identity-based Hate Crimes,” at Mersin University. The panel was moved to a larger lecture hall due to high turnout.
Beşiktaş Municipal Assembly member from CHP and human rights and LGBT activist Sedef Çakmak has evaluated hate speech in media for us. During the municipality elections, Çakmak became a target of hate speech in various media outlets as an openly gay woman. We’ve discussed the difficulties she has faced during the electoral process and in her personal life.
Melda Onur, a prominent parliamentarian in Turkey, filed an official parliamentary question, asking the Ministry of Justice about hate crimes against LGBTI individuals and formal measures taken against such crimes (PDF file).
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Republican People’s Party (CHP)
Date: 20 October 2014
To the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
I request that my questions below be answered by the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdağ, in writing.
Member of Parliament from Istanbul
In Turkey, the othering of those who are perceived as different is transforming into hate murders when encouraged by the hate speech of some opinion leaders. The most obvious targets of these murders are LGBTI individuals and hate crimes against these individuals are increasing daily.
The murders that have been occurring in various cities show that the government does not take permanent legal measures or precautions against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
These attacks, which especially target trans individuals, have most recently led to both the discovery of the dead body of a trans woman, Gypsy Gül, in her Istanbul home as well as the brutal murder of trans woman Corti Emel. Effective investigations are not conducted after these attacks, which threaten the right to life; the punishments given to the criminals do not act as deterrents.
On the other hand, the “Bill to Amend Various Laws to Improve Fundamental Rights and Freedoms”, more commonly known as the “Democratization Package” was put forth by the government in March and passed as law by the Parliament. With the Democratization Package, the phrase “hate” has been included in law for the first time. However, the terms gender identity and sexual orientation have not been included in the law and no added punishment will be given if sexual assault and sexual harassment, etc. are conducted with motivation rooted in hatred.
Therefore, the inability to prevent physical and verbal assaults against LGBTI individuals across the country is a reflection of this legal vacuum.
In the new legislative year, do you foresee additional arrangements to include attacks against LGBTI individuals within the scope of hate crimes?
Does your ministry’s agenda include an action plan to prevent hate motivated attacks and murders that target LGBTI individuals? Are you considering coordination with other institutions?
What is the number of trans and gay individuals who have lost their lives due to hate crimes in the last five years? What is the distribution of these across different cities?
How many people have been tried for hate crimes against LGBTI individuals up to today and what is the total amount of jail time that these people were sentenced to?
GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY 11472
PEACE AND DEMOCRACY PARTY
TO THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY
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.
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.
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.