Suicide

Eylül Cansın’s mother speaks of her daughter’s suicide, discrimination, and trans gangs

The mother of Eylül Cansın- a trans woman who committed suicide- told the story of her daughter’s 23 years, from her childhood to her death.

Source: Michelle Demishevic, “’Kadıköy trans çetesi kızım Eylül Cansın’ı pazarladı, uyuşturucuya zorladı, işkence yaptı!”, (“The Kadıköy trans gang sold my daughter Eylül Cansın, forced her to do drugs, tortured her!”), T24, 19 January 2015, http://t24.com.tr/haber/kadikoy-trans-cetesi-kizim-eylul-cansini-pazarladi-uyusturucuya-zorladi-iskence-yapti,284174

23-year-old trans woman Eylül Cansın jumped off of the Bosphorus Bridge on January 4, 2015 at around 03:30 a.m. As her deceased body was found near the Ortaköy shore,  the video she had recorded before jumping off circulated on social media after being published on T24. “Today is my best day. I am very happy but today will be another better day for me. Thank you all,” she said at the beginning of her video continuing:

“I couldn’t because people didn’t let me. I couldn’t work, I wanted to do things but I couldn’t. You get me? They impeded with me many times; they made me suffer a lot. I leave everyone alone with God and now I’m going to the Bosphorus Bridge.”

In spite of Cansın saying so in her video, her mother says that this is not a suicide. Cansın’s mother, Mrs. Bala, to whom Cansın calls out to in the video saying,  “Mom, all I want is, I have a little dog at home, I leave him to you. He never pees, never poops at home. Always say to him ‘he is my child’, never get angry with him,” asks this question:

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Suicide Resources

Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

Substance Abuse Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

 

“The deaths of trans people driven to suicide by society are hate crimes”

Source: Michelle Demishevich, ‘Toplumun intihara sürüklediği trans bireylerin ölümleri nefret cinayetidir’ (The deaths of trans people driven to suicide by society are hate crimes.) T24, 6 January 2015, http://t24.com.tr/haber/toplumun-intihara-surukledigi-trans-bireylerin-olumleri-nefret-cinayetidir,282879

Eylül Cansın, who committed suicide by jumping off the Istanbul Boğaziçi Bridge, drew attention to increasing transphobic sentiment and violence.

LGBTI organizations held simultaneous protests in Istanbul and Ankara after the death of Eylül Cansın, a 23 year old who committed suicide by jumping off the Istanbul Boğaziçi Bridge.

During the rally in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, LGBTI activists marched from Tünel to Galatasaray Square with a banner reading “You can’t extort or exert violence on trans sex workers.” holding up placards and shouting out slogans.

Pink Life LGBTI, Istanbul LGBTT, Kaos GL, Black Pink Triangle LGBTI, Freedom to Earth Association, Protection and Development of Animal Rights Association, Pink Caretta LGBTQ, Kars Platform Against Homophobia and Transpohobia, Malatya Youth Initiative Against Homophobia and Transpohobia, Hevi LGBTI, Socialist Salvation Party (SYKP) and Revolutionary Highschoolers attended the event in Ankara’s Yüksel Street that took place at the same time.

The group, marching against transphobia despite ill weather, gave a press conference in Galatasaray Square. The strict security measures taken by Istanbul Riot Police and the presence of a TOMA, an intervention vehicle for social events, stood out. LGBTQ activist Yağmur Beyrut read the press release on behalf of the group.

Yağmur Beyrut, who raised concerns about the growing violence against trans women nowadays, said: “The sex trade, which often stands as the only option for trans women, does not provide safer working conditions than 19th century coal mines did. Sex workers are forced, day by day, to work under less job security, all-the-while facing greater risk of occupational violence and homicide. They face increasing rivalry and prevalent employment problems due to the reduction of spaces allocated to them and the growing pressures put on them.”

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Turkish Psychologists Association: LGBTI suicides are always a social phenomenon

LGBTI suicides are always a social phenomenon because an LGBTI individual is directly or indirectly exposed to cultural, legal, physical and social discrimination and violence throughout her/his entire life. 

Source: Turkish Psychologists Association, “LGBTİ intiharları her zaman toplumsal bir olgudur”, (“LGBTI suicides are always a social phenomenon”), TPD, 06 January 2015, http://www.psikolog.org.tr/index.php?Detail=1201

We are deeply sorry for the suicide of the trans-individual Eylül Cansın.

We give our condolences to her relatives, friends and LGBTI Movement.

LGBTI suicides are always a social phenomenon

LGBTI suicides are always a social phenomenon because an LGBTI individual is directly or indirectly exposed to cultural, legal, physical and social discrimination and violence throughout her/his entire life.

The hopelessness and desperation of an LGBTI individual is linked to the discrimination and the violence she/he Is exposed to

The hopelessness and desperation that an LGBTI individual has to face, which sometimes results in depression in clinical levels, is the consequence of the discrimination and violence that she/he is exposed to. The available research points out that being exposed to discrimination and to violation of rights and being excluded from one’s family [and support networks] lead to health impairments such as depression, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also raises the risk of tendency to suicidal thoughts, weakens the immune system and delays recovery. It is our responsibility to act in solidarity with LGBTI individuals in the context of cultural, legal, physical and social discrimination and violence, and to take a stand against homophobic and transphobic attitude and acts of society.

The responsibility of the media: The media must avoid broadcasts that may encourage suicide

In this context, the media shoulders an important responsibility. First of all, we want to repeat the previous warning: suicides, especially in the form of Eylül Cansın’s which occurred on 4 January 2015, have to be treated very carefully by the media, since they can pave the way for other suicides. This is a critical issue.

It is crucial not to share and broadcast the video with the suicide note in order to prevent it from becoming widespread. A detailed description of the suicide process may trigger and can become a role model, especially for adolescents, young adults, and people who are inclined to depression and suicide. It also raises the possibility of imitation. Many studies underline this possibility. For this reason, any type of suicidal incident should not be broadcast as the headline or as breaking news and it should be broadcasted without visuals and without dramatizing the incident. In news broadcasts, detailed depictions of the method of suicide must be avoided and media outlets must not broadcast the aftermath of the suicide.

Legal, psychological and social support available to LGBTI individuals must be emphasized

The support and treatment possibilities for the depression, which underlies the behavior of suicide, as well as the effectiveness of these possibilities on saving lives must be emphasized. Wide publicity must be given to the legal, psychological and social tools that LGBTI individuals can use. This publicity must also provide information on the organizations which they can join and the psychosocial support projects that they can benefit. The contact information of these organizations and foundations must be generalized.

As the TPD [Turkish Psychologists Association] LGBTI Studies Unit, we call on the media establishments to publicize the violence and discrimination LGBTI individuals face in every fields of their life and to act in solidarity with the LGBTI political movement.

 


Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/

 

Trans woman ends her life in Istanbul: I couldn’t, they didn’t let me

Source: “Trans woman ends her life in Istanbul: I couldn’t, they didn’t let me”, kaosGL.org, 5 January 2015, http://kaosgl.org/page.php?id=18392

A trans woman named Eylül Cansın committed suicide in Istanbul by jumping off the Bosphorus Bridge the night before.

 

Born in 1992, Eylül Cansın ended her life by jumping off the Bosphorus Bridge on Saturday night. Cansın left a video as a suicide note, saying “many people were my friends but they turned out not to be my friends. I couldn’t do it anymore, that’s what I’ve learned. I’m doing the thing everyone wants [me to do].”

“I couldn’t because people did not let me”

“I was born in 1992. Now I must be 24 and I’m ending my 24 years. Kisses to everyone. I couldn’t. I couldn’t because people did not let me. I couldn’t work, I wanted to do stuff, I couldn’t… You get me? They impeded with me many times; they made me suffer a lot. I leave everyone alone with God and now I’m going to the Bosphorus Bridge. Kisses to all, God bless you.”

Cansın wanted her mother to take care of her little dog at her place, resulting in a huge despair in social media by her words: “Whenever you look at it, remember only me and don’t give it to anyone else. When you see it, say ‘this is my child’. Don’t get angry at it.”

Suicide of LGBT people is a social issue

In July, a trans boy named Okyanus Efe Ozyavuz in Izmir; in August a trans activist named Figen in Mersin and in November an Iranian gay refugee in Denizli ended their lives. Experts underline that discrimination causes serious mental health problems.

 

 


Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/

 

ODA TV: “Another trans has died”

A trans woman who climbed on the railings of the Bosphorus Bridge has jumped to her death despite efforts by the police.

Source: “Bir trans daha öldü” (“Another trans has died”). Oda TV, 5 January 2015, http://odatv.com/n.php?n=bir-trans-daha-oldu-0501151200

Police began efforts to talk down Eylül Cansın, a 22 year old trans individual who wanted to let herself go off of the bridge. A boat belonging to the maritime police was also mobilized to take safety precautions in the area. Cansın, who could not be convinced by the police officers, soon let herself go off of the bridge and was pronounced dead at the scene.

She shared her last message on Facebook

Cansın shared a video on Facebook hours before her suicide:

“I could not. I could not because people did not allow me. I could not work. I wanted to do something [worthwhile] but I could not. They interfered with me a lot. They victimized me a lot. I leave everyone to their own god.”

A message for her mother

Cansın left a message specifically to her mother and, crying, said,

“Mom, I have a very small dog at home. I know that you will take her in and that you will take good care of her. Mom, I entrust her to you. Please think of me whenever you look at her. Think of only me. And don’t give her away to any one.”

 

 


Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/

 

A social selfie as reflected in Seda Sayan

Source: Birgül Demirtaş, “Seda Sayan aynasında sosyal selfie, (“A social selfie as reflected in Seda Sayan,”) Birgün, September 14, 2014,  http://www.birgun.net/news/view/seda-sayan-aynasinda-toplumsal-selfie/5467

Seda Sayan drew significant and rightfully widespread anger by hosting Sefer Çalınak, who murdered his two spouses, on her TV show and by presenting and advertising him as a killer with a smile[1]. However, we should approach this not as an individual issue but as part of the social hysteria that we live in. To treat the events as a case of calculated social hysteria that worships power and authority and that believes whoever holds power will provide us with clues about the bigger picture.

Indeed, the case of the police officer who took selfies[2] while a civilian was attempting suicide on the Bosphorus bridge on September 1st2 is directly related to the Seda Sayan phenomenon. Both [incidents] involve actors who are inured to death and who try to find fame and reputation even in an atmosphere of death. To try to get higher ratings while normalizing women’s murders by men is quite equivalent to the situation of the police officer who tried to increase his popularity by advertising to the world that he was witnessing a suicide.

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Mehmet Atif Ergun on Figen’s Death: Speaking of Suicide

Source: Mehmet Atif Ergun, “İntiharı konuşmaya dair (Speaking of suicide)”. Lambdaistanbul, August 26, 2014, http://www.lambdaistanbul.org/s/yasam/intihari-konusmaya-dair-mehmet-atif-ergun/

To offer suicide as if it were murder is to disperse and disarm counter-hegemonic discourses inside the one that is infused in violence.

I learned of Figen’s ordeal with police torture through that photograph, where she dared to expose her vulnerability over an Ataturk bust and the arm of a police officer; I learned of her ending her own life through a short yet searing sentence on Twitter. And I have come across an article by Halil Kandok, published both in Kaos GL and in Radikal while jointly translating a news article on her suicide with LGBTI News Turkey. In the article, Kandok asks:

Figen did not commit suicide out of nowhere. She committed suicide because of society’s normative pressures and because the state failed to protect her. That is, she was pushed to suicide, to death. Is this a suicide, or a murder committed by a secret weapon, the weapon of hatred?

What is suicide?  Who commits suicide?  For a nation where life and death are left to chance and violence is part of everyday life, answering these questions may be of significance. From what has been written on Figen’s deed, Figen did not end her life but was murdered. She was helpless and deedless, she was silenced, her existence erased. She was purged from society. Her very last moment was imbued with that “animal fear,” as the poet [Nazım Hikmet, 1961, “Straw-Blond”] says, that was created in her by her murderer, and not of her own thoughts, anxieties, her own self.

Yet, was it not those very soldiers, the ones who “had shoulder helmets on their shoulders but no heads / between their shoulders and their helmets nothing / they even had collars and necks but no heads” nor eyes, the ones “whose deaths are not mourned”, in whom “you could see their fear, animal fear”?  The ones with “arms, swastikas on their arms” –did we not already encounter them in Figen’s photograph?

Suicide is a deed realized by the person doing the deed, a sorts of a last-disobedience. It is an existential show of power: it is the expression of the argument that “my life is mine to take and no one else’s,” that is, of the claim to one’s right to live, through a radical deed. It is one of those moments where one takes away any power that the assailant might have had and where the assailant is left impotent. When we attribute this deed to the person whose aim it was, in the first place, to erase this other, to expunge her very existence from society, are we not participating in the fantasy mounted by that person by way of our framing of the debate and of the tongue?

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To the Press and the Public: On the Suicide of Okyanus Özyavuz

Source: T-Kulüp, “Basına ve Kamuyonu: Okyanus Özyavuz,” (“To the Press and the Public: On Okyanus Özyavuz,”) 3 July 2014

We will be in front of Galatasaray High School today (July 3, 2014) at 19:00 to speak out for our trans male friend, Okyanus Özyavuz, who committed suicide in İzmir.

If you are not there, we will be missing so many.

Note: Through our correspondence with our trans male comrade’s girlfriend, we understand that his chosen name was not Efe but Okyanus and that he had created a different facebook account with the name Efe. He preferred to be called Okyanus and we have respected his wish in our statement.

We love you Okyanus!

“To the attention of the Press and Public,

On July 2, 2014, Okyanus Özyavuz, a trans male individual, ended his life. A successful athlete, Okyanus pointed out the reason behind his suicide via a note he shared on his social media account, ‘What’s the fucking use of being normal?”

As hundreds of trans individuals who understand what Okyanus was going through by his one remark, we would like to explain why he died: Close your eyes and imagine…. That you wake up in the morning in a body which you feel is not compatible with your sex, that you cannot tear it up the way you can a disappointing dress and that you are drowned in that flesh as well as the looks, remarks and the harassment of those that see you in that flesh.

Imagine nobody being able to see or understand who you really are… Imagine everyone you know pushing you and being hostile to you because that body is not compatible with you, and imagine being more drawn into yourself day by day. You can’t take it? Why not change? Make a choice between lying to yourself forever and taking on the whole world. Change, despite the possibility of being labeled ‘abnormal’ but to be yourself… Then imagine putting up with not being identified as ‘normal’ ever again.

Even if you do understand a part of what we are saying, we are sure that you will spread the news with a different name than that our friend chose and we insist on calling him ‘Okyanus.’ We pay more heed to his preferred male identity, expressed by his chosen name and his attire, than the female identity the government brands on us by only glancing at our crotches. And we accuse you! You killed Okyanus. You journalists, mothers, fathers, teachers, brothers, sisters or lovers! You, who do not know how to love unconditionally, kill a part of us every day with the constant repetition of the ‘normal – abnormal’ dichotomy.

We, trans individuals, live everyday and every moment struggling against you. You try to suppress us through pressures by society, family and government so that you can protect that wholly fictional, damned “normal.” Well, we are not suppressed! We will not apologize for existing! You disregard us and discriminate us by regulating everything from bathrooms to vocational schools according to your own “normal.” Still, we keep going and when we object to how we are treated and cry out for our human rights, you test us with every kind of violence, death and/or suicide and try to wipe us out. Well, we will not be wiped out!

Failing to add any clauses to the new Hate Crimes Law regarding the LGBTI means the government ignores us even under the threat of violence and that trans individuals’ right to life is not guaranteed in this country. The state’s insistence on being an accomplice in every event of discrimination through its police, teachers, doctors and law, its constant violation of our rights such as the rights to shelter, education and employment are just a few of the reasons providing a base for these suicides and murders. We announce here: The state is the perpetrator, the society is the perpetrator and the “normal” is the perpetrator!

You killed yet another pure and clean part of us, but we are still here! Our heads held high! We stand strong against you organized and in solidarity! Neither your ignorance, nor your violence, not even your slayings will be able to change this. You will see us wherever you turn your head. Get used to it, we are here and we are not going anywhere.”

T-Kulüp (Trans Male Culture Production Platform)

Voltrans


Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/

 

17-year-old Trans Teen Commits Suicide in Turkey

Source: Kaos GL, “17-year-old trans teen commits suicide in Turkey,” kaosGL.org, 3 July 2014, http://kaosgl.org/page.php?id=17012

A 17-year-old trans teen named Okyanus Efe Özyavuz committed suicide in the western city of Izmir yesterday. Having won kick box championships both in Izmir and in the region, Özyavuz shared a note on his Facebook account which reads “What’s the fucking use of being normal?”
Noticing that Özyavuz hung himself from his apartment balcony, the neighbors broke in and cut the rope.
An autopsy will take place in Izmir Forensic Medical Institution. The police started an investigation about the suicide.

Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/

 

I Attempted Suicide

Source: Burcu Karakaş, “İntihara teşebbüs ettim,” (“I Attempted Suicide,”) milliyet, 02 March 2014, http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/-intihara-tesebbus-ettim-/gundem/detay/1845217/default.htm?ref=OtherNews

I attempted suicide

A homosexual police officer in Gaziantep was fired due to being charged with the crime of “unchastity.” The police officer applied to the Administrative Court for the annulment of the decision but was rejected. He said, “I went through a huge trauma. I attempted suicide. The judges decide according to their own moral rules. According to them, we do not even have the right to life.”

A homosexual police officer’s life has changed when the Morality Desk raided his friend’s house in Gaziantep. The officer was taking food to his friend. After an unidentified person’s tip-off, the police officer, who chose to remain anonymous, and his friend were obliged to go with the officers from the Morality Desk to the police department and to give their statements.

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LGBT Activist Committed Suicide in Azerbaijan

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “LGBT Activist Committed Suicide in Azerbaijan,” kaosGL.org, 23 January 2014, http://kaosgl.org/page.php?id=15670

İsa Şahmarlı, 20-year-old LGBT activist in Azerbaijan, hanged himself yesterday with a rainbow flag.

The president of the Azad LGBT group was found dead by his friends in the office where he worked.

“You are all responsible of my death”

Before committing suicide, Sahmarli shared a note from his Facebook account: “I am going. This country, this world is not for me… I am going to become happy… Tell mom that I love her much. You are all responsible of my death. This world is not strong enough to bear my colors. Farewell.”

“Rainbow Flags Will Be in Baku Sky”

Şahmarlı once said in an interview: “I hope and I will see one day that LGBT flags will be in Baku sky. What I really want to see is a gay couple walking freely in Baku.” He also emphasized in another interview that family pressure drives many LGBT teens to suicide.

İsa’s friends and those against homophobia will attend his funeral today. There will be a press release on Sunday in Ankara by Anka LGBT, as well.


Having suicidal thoughts? Please, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

To the best of our knowledge, the online and IRL resources below will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space.

IRC / Chatlines

Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

If you know of any other suicide resources where you live or work, please do let us know so that we can add them to our website. To contact us, email us at info@lgbtinewsturkey.com, or see https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/about/.

https://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/03/04/suicide-resources/