Anarchist Meydan Newspaper’s Interview with Trans Inmate Esra

Source: “YALINAYAK: Tutsak Travesti Esra ile Röportaj” (“BAREFOOT: An Interview with Transvestite Prisoner Esra”) Meydan, 14 December 2014,

In prisons, in every era, pressure, torture and attacks occur, directed against those of a different identity, creed, way of thinking; political prisoners; Kurds; homosexuals; non-Muslims — always. But a way to carry out these attacks would be found, they would be justified, they would be covered up in a thousand and one ways.  After the period of rule by the Justice and Development Party, especially after its “master craftsman” period*, everything began to be done openly, without concern or fear, with people in command, from the lowest rank to the highest, looking out for one another. In an interview given to our newspaper by a transsexual prisoner from a prison whose name we cannot disclose for reasons of personal security, she has described the systematic pressure and torture directed at homosexual and transgender persons in prisons. We share with you, our readers, the interview we conducted.

Meydan: Would you please introduce yourself?

I have been a transsexual for 21 years. I have only one hope: to be able to get my pink ID card. Even that has gotten caught up in procedural barriers under prison conditions.

It is possible to speak of a perception and policy formed by the government and various centers of power in relation to different identities. How does this reflect on you?

In this country, to be homosexual means to lead a very hard life. Sometimes the burden of life seems heavy.  From the moment you choose this life the difficulties begin. First your family ostracizes you, afterwards society does so. Vis-à-vis the government, your rights are taken away from you simply because you are homosexual. Even though it is not official, you are treated as though you are deprived of legal rights. They do not even consider you a human being.