“It is hard to find high-heels in size 42 (9.5) in prison. Even though we pay the price, the officials cannot bring them in. Here our warden understands us; but the inmates in Ankara are not even given tweezers and the others are complaining about personnel violence. What I ask of you is to send me high-heels.” (A note from Deniz’s Letter)
The law states, “The primary reason for incarceration is to rehabilitate,” which means that the state regards every inmate as unhealthy. Considering the recent arbitrary arrests, prisons can be seen as places where anyone could potentially end up. Because of rights violations and bad treatment, one can get much worse rather than becoming a rehabilitated person. Trans inmates face further unfairness and discrimination. We talked about the situation of trans people with Mustafa Eren from the Civil Society in the Penal System, who has been closely following the rights violations in prisons.
Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation (CISST) brought attention to the isolation imposed on LGBT inmates. They stated that there is no such legislation on the issue but that prison administrations’ “apply unwritten rules.”
CISST released their report for the Project of Inmates with Special Needs and stated that the main problem LGBT inmates face is isolation.
They stated that legislation concerning LGBT inmates must be drafted but that one prison for LGBT inmates would cause more discrimination and labeling.
“Unwritten rules means “I will do what I want””
CISST visited Maltepe No: 6 L Type Closed Penal Institution where 11 trans women are imprisoned with one academic, one lawyer, representatives of LISTAG, SPoD LGBT, Istanbul LGBTT, and Lambdaistanbul.
Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation’s (CISST) Observations and Questions to the Ministry of Justice regarding LGBT inmates and the Ministry of Justice’s response.
A response from the Ministry of Justice, to the questions posed by Zafer Kılıç, CEO of the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation, regarding LGBT inmates within the framework of the Law on the Right to Information, has been received [on 24 July 2013]. The observations that can be made from the Ministry of Justice’s responses are as follows:
1. The Ministry of Justice describes LGBT people as “people with LGBT” which brings forth the question whether the Ministry considers someone being LGBT akin to living with a disease like cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis.