Kıvılcım Arat

Trans Woman Stabbed And Strangled To Death

Nilay, a trans woman in Maltepe, Istanbul has been found dead at her home. She was first stabbed and then strangled with the bathrobe belt. Police told Istanbul LGBTI activist who requested information, that “Already dead, why do you care?”

Source: Pembe Hayat, “Trans Kadın Önce Bıçaklandı Sonra Boğularak Öldürüldü!”, pembehayat.org, 24 November 2015, http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=923

Nilay, a 33 years old trans woman in Maltepe, Istanbul lost her life after a transphobic hate crime. Nilay who was attacked yesterday (23 November) around noon at her house suffered several stabbings on her body. The murderer strangled her with the bathrobe belt after stabbing her.

Yanki Bayramoglu, friend of deceased Nilay stressed the fact that this transphobic hate crime took place right after 20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance:

First he stabbed her, then strangled!

“The attack took place yesterday after 3pm. Our mutual friend Emel talked to Nilay on the phone around 3 pm. Nilay said that her client was about to arrive and then she hung up. Later, we tried to call her again but couldn’t reach her. Emel got suspicious at night and went to her home. She kept knocking on the door but there was no answer. They called for a locksmith and found Nilay’s dead body.”

“I saw the house myself, too. Everything was scattered. There was blood. The girl’s body was stabbed everywhere. In the end when she was in death agony, he strangled her with the belt of a bathrobe, and left her there with the knife he used.”

The family is on the road to pick up the funeral

After Nilay’s friends found her body, they called the police. CSI team and the state prosecutor decided to move Nilay’s body to Kartal Training and Research Hospital’s morgue.

Bayramoglu, stated that they informed the family of Nilay and they are on the road from Diyarbakir to pick up her body.

Police to Istanbul LGBTI activist: “Already dead, why do you care?”

Kivilcim Arat from Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association said that they kept calling police offices all night after they heard about the attack in order to get concrete information. However, they were not informed by the police officers. Arat, “Police officers talked to me in a very disrespectful manner and mockingly. We were trying to get information for legal follow up procedures, but they did not provide us any information. They said “already dead, throat is cut open, why do you care” and such other sentences.”

According to the information provided by police to Yanki Bayramoglu, the suspect has not been identified yet. Istanbul LGBTI lawyers will follow up the legal process after murdering.

Transphobic Hate Attack Three Days Ago!

On 20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance, a trans woman was attacked by a group of men in Istanbul. Around 3 am in the night, Adriana was wounded by a pry bar.

Sexual Harassment and Attack Against Trans Women at Bakırköy Women’s Prison

Sexual harassment and attacks against LGBTI activists visiting Bakırköy Women’s Prison continue.

Source:“Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Cezaevinde Translara Cinsel Taciz ve Saldırı”, (“Sexual Harassment and Attack Against Trans Women at Bakırköy Women’s Prison”), Pembe Hayat, 18 July 2015, http://pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=818

Yağmur Beyrut Afşar, an LGBTI activist who went to Bakırköy Women’s Prison to visit an inmate, was denied a security search by female guards due to her trans identity at the prison’s 2nd checkpoint. After being directed to the security line for male visitors, Afşar refused the search. Afşar argued with a male guard who harassed her by “sticking out his tongue” and left the room.

Not the first instance of hate against trans visitors

Last month, Kıvılcım Arat, the general secretary of Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association and an activist for the Democratic Women’s Movement, was subjected to a forced search by guards and organized harassment by soldiers.

Three-month visiting penalty

Last week, Arat visited the prison again and was told by the guards that her friend had received a three-month revocation of visiting privileges. Arat was shown a report that cited “insulting the officer on duty” as the reason of the penalty.

Ebru Kırancı: We will go to court if necessary

The president of the Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association Ebru Kırancı noted that the government’s prison practices are systematic: “They are trying to oppress the revolutionary women that they have incarcerated within the prison and by harassing and keeping away their visitors. Of course, we are dealing with the issue of transphobia in addition to the isolation that they impose on women. I think this is a practice to discourage trans women from visiting inmates. They hope that trans women will give up on visits because of the undignified searches and harassment carried out by male guards. Of course, they are forgetting that trans women won’t comply by pressure, brutality, or mistreatment. If these procedures were successful, the pressure from the state and society would have already changed things. We will take the transphobic attacks in prisons to court if necessary.

Cyber-attack against Istanbul LGBTI’s Website

The website of Istanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association was hacked. Kıvılcım Arat from the Association said “LGBTIs used not to be perceived as a threat. Attacks increased as they became the subject of/in politics.”

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “İstanbul LGBTİ’nin Web Sitesine Siber Saldırı” (“Cyber Attack against Istanbul LGBTT’s Website”), bianet, 6 July 2015,  http://www.bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/165826-istanbul-lgbti-nin-web-sitesine-siber-saldiri

The website of Istanbul LGBTI [LGBTT] Solidarity Association was hacked by a group called “Armania”.

510Hackers changed the first news heading of the website to “WE ARE SONS OF BITCHES YEAHH”. The website at http://istanbul-lgbtt.net is still accessible but news items display an error.

Istanbul LGBTI’s Kıvılcım Arat reported that “As it turns out, they had found a vulnerability in the website a while ago but waited for a controversy before hacking it. They took advantage of the order of the day where the police attacks the Pride Parade and LGBTIs continue to be targeted [for violence] and posted their messages to the website.”

Kaos GL’s website was targeted with a DDoS attack simultaneously with the police attack against the Istanbul LGBTI Pride Parade on June 28th.

Arat, who reported that online attacks against LGBTIs are increasing in addition to the already widespread physical and verbal assaults, expressed that the reason for the increase in attacks is the visibility of the LGBTI and LGBTI’s presence in the political arena:

LGBTIs used not to be perceived as a threat; we were seen as a group that keeps their head down at all times. But this perception dissipated after Gezi. A certain discomfort emerged from LGBTIs’ becoming political subjects in the last election process and their solidarity around the slogan ‘We will not let you become the President’.

It was indeed not Ramadan but the discomfort of the election process that lead to the attacks during the Pride Parade, which has been organized for 13 years. After all, a week ago and again during Ramadan, the 6th Trans Pride Parade was organized on the same street.

A message of ‘you better tread lightly, not get into politics, withdraw into your shell’ is being given with these target-ful statements, news articles, and assaults. Because Turkey’s LGBTI movement is one of the most political ones in Turkey. It seems that attacks will continue, unfortunately.

Istanbul LGBTT Activist: “Assailants say ‘you can murder fags, there is no penalty for that’”

7 trans women were assaulted in Istanbul in the last month. Kıvılcım Arat of Istanbul LGBTI said: “It is the government, which avoids producing legislation [against hate crimes] and which issues press statements that point people out as targets, who is responsible for the increase in assaults.”

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Saldırganlar ‘İbne Öldürmenin Cezası Yok’ Diyor” (“Assailants say ‘you can murder fags, there is no penalty for that’”), Bianet, 1 June 2015, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/164977-saldirganlar-ibne-oldurmenin-cezasi-yok-diyor

7 trans women were assaulted in Istanbul in the last month [May 2015].

Some assaults occurred out of nowhere while women were walking on the street, some occurred in women’s homes. Other trans women who heard that trans women have been assaulted rushed to the hospitals and waited outside the ER in solidarity, even when they did not know the victim.

Yet, the attacks continue and very few of the women apply to rights organizations regarding what they experienced and initiate legal procedures.

Istanbul LGBTI [sic- correct name Istanbul LGBTT], one of the organizations working for trans rights, reported that only three trans women applied [for support] following the attacks. Two of them did not continue the necessary legal procedures afterwards; one is waiting for her recovery.

Why is it that these women, who struggle for their lives every day, do not engage in a legal struggle? Kıvılcım Arat, member of the board of directors of Istanbul LGBTI [sic], responded to this question: “Because they do not trust the judiciary.”

“They are reluctant [to pursue cases] because they do not trust the judiciary. Activists need to intervene at that stage. Unfortunately, that is not always possible.”

Arat tied the high number of assaults during the month to the statements by government authorities. While they have avoided issuing statements regarding LGBTIs up until now, government authorities have begun bringing the issue to the forefront as the elections are approaching. Arat reminds us of the statements by President Erdoğan, “We do not put forth homosexual candidates,” and by Prime Minister Davutoğlu, “Homosexuals caused the destruction of the tribe of Lot.”

“Ever since the HDP [which has an LGBTI candidate and actively campaigns for LGBTI rights -Trans.] started its election campaign, the statements by government authorities about LGBTIs have been encouraging people to commit hate crimes. Recently, following the statement by the President, two trans women were assaulted.”

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