Source: Hazal Özbarış, “Korkma, dinle, anla: Şahika Hoca Transseksüelleri Anlatıyor,” (“Don’t be Afraid, Listen, Understand: Professor Şahika Yüksel tells us about transsexuals,”) t24, June 9, 2014. http://t24.com.tr/haber/korkma-dinle-anla-sahika-hoca-transseksuelleri-anlatiyor,260612
From the “wall” surgeries of 1980s to the Bülent Ersoy law, from Rüzgar Erkoç to the trans individual who sued Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights
“Mistakenly” used every now and then to publicly refer to Bülent Ersoy2, who has had surgery 33 years ago, this phrase is a never-exhausted theme in celebrity news in Turkey. The name of the reaction, which extends from that reflex-like chuckle given when reading news such as this, all the way to murder, is transphobia.
Because this transphobia is shared by the majority of people, even though the sentence for murder with intent is life in prison, if the murdered victim is trans, the following two statements will be sufficient for a judge to reduce the sentences:
“I thought they were a woman.”
“They propositioned [me] to have anal sex.”
Thus, the judge, “whose manhood is said to be at stake” and who is of the same gender as the murderer, determines that the murderer has been unduly provoked, and Turkey, yet again, is guaranteed to be number one [in trans murders] in Europe.3
The theme of Trans Pride Week, which will be held on 16th-22nd June, is “The State is The Perpetrator” because of the hatred, attacks, and murders that trans people experience, not only in the courtroom, but in all arenas where the state leaves its mark.
In order to learn more about the Turkey that is experienced by trans people, and that hardly features in news media or popular television programs, we visited Prof. Şahika Yüksel.