trans murders

Trans woman murdered and hidden under couch

In Istanbul, a trans woman was killed and hidden under a pull-out couch for 3 days by a man named Necat Y.

Source: “Trans kadını öldürüp, çekyata sakladı!” ( “Trans woman murdered and hidden under couch”), KaosGL.org, 30 January 2015, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18607

In Şirinevler, Istanbul, a trans woman with the initials B.E. was killed by a man called Nejat Y. He kept the dead body of the trans woman under a couch for 3 days. The murderer reportedly stayed in B.E.’s house for 3 days.

The murder became evident after B.E.’s family who live in the southern city of Adana called the police on January 10. The Istanbul police found a strong odor and the dead body hidden in the couch when they entered B.E.’s house. After reports that the 20-year-old murderer ran away to Niğde appeared, a special police crew went to Niğde and arrested him.

He kept using the house after the murder!

Nejat Y. confessed to the murder during an investigation at the Homicide Department. He made the following statement:

“I paid for sex. Following a quarrel after sex, I choked her to death. I wrapped the corpse in a carpet and put it under the couch. I sprayed some perfume around and cleaned the house. Then I used the house for a few days more. I told people that she needed to attend a funeral in Konya when they asked.”

The suspect was detained and taken to prison.

Gani Met on Trans Deaths: “This Piece is a Denunciation for Humanity”

Source: Gani Met,  “Bu Yazı İnsanlığa Suç Duyurusudur”, (“This Piece is a Denunciation for Humanity”), 5harfliler.com, 5 January 2015, http://www.5harfliler.com/bu-yazi-insanliga-suc-duyurusudur/

Here I am releasing a denunciation to all of humanity, over and over again: You are destroying us each day. You are massacring us systematically and politically. See this! Hear this!

I don’t understand how I was able to manage this situation in the past. Not a day goes by without someone dying, someone being kicked out of their house, someone in need of care at some hospital…These pieces of news make me so sad now. My resistance decreases. I don’t know how I would be able to survive if it weren’t for the well-intentioned people around me. What kind of an arena is this where if you fall, you are shattered? What is the struggle behind this hopelessness? Why? I don’t know…

The psychology of war that we are made to experience is always with me. There are dead bodies everywhere. I used to know that one. I used to love that one. That other one was a nice girl. The latter was my friend. There are dead bodies everywhere or bad memories. I don’t know who the enemy is anymore.

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News Media Analysis: “One less trans following each trans-related news”

Source: Michelle Demishevich, “Her trans haberinde bir trans eksildi,” (“One less trans with each trans-related news,”) P24, 13 October 2014, http://www.platform24.org/guncel/514/her-trans-haberinde-trans-kadinlar-bir-eksildi

The media has a direct responsibility for the discrimination and violence that target trans individuals.

For years, the media perceived news and updates on the LGBTI as if they were an undesirable workload. There are already very few journalists at news desks who have a mastery on the language of gender [as a social construct]. The making of LGBTI news requires significant sensitivity. Sentences should be carefully chosen. Yet a discourse of hatred, deployed through trans women, has been rampant in LGBTI news stories that appear in the media. Trans women have been represented as mean and wicked in news headings such as “transvestite terror,” “transvestites have spread horror,” “transvestites have entered into armed conflict with the police,” and so on. In the last few years, positive news stories by women who are sensitive to LGBTI, women, and gender have been effective, to a limited degree, in undoing this perception.

Whenever media published a story on trans women, a trans murder happened the very next day. Perhaps trans women were targeted by the news stories, or perhaps it was the deployment of the discourse of hatred that set the stage for hate crimes.

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Çingene Gül, Trans Woman, Murdered in Istanbul

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Trans Çingene Gül Öldürüldü,” (“Çingene Gül, Trans Woman, Murdered in Istanbul,”) bianet, 9 October 2014, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/159065-trans-cingene-gul-olduruldu#

Çingene Gül, a trans woman, was found dead in her Istanbul apartment on October 8. While the autopsy is yet to be completed, it is suspected that she was murdered two days ago because her friends didn’t hear from her for two days.

Her neighbor Melek Emir said,  “Two nights ago, I heard noises from the apartment building. Gül never makes noise. At first, I thought somebody was trying to break in, then I heard the door open and close. I supposed Gül couldn’t find her keys or something. I never reckoned such a thing would ever happen.”

Gül’s street is crowded with police officers investigating the events and onlookers after her friends found her body. All the women in the neighborhood recognize Gül. “She smiled all the time, she would greet everyone on the street. She wouldn’t disturb anybody.”

Gül’s trans friends argued with the police in order to see her one last time. Police said they could do so in small groups provided that they wouldn’t cry out, touch her or bring disorder to the crime scene.

Her friends claim that trans sex workers are usually murdered by their clients – which they think was also the fate of Gül. They also said Gül didn’t receive customers in her apartment and preferred to use hotels or other venues. They also brought up the possibility of burglary. However, police said that it was not possible to know that at the time.

Utku who found Gül’s body and said, “I went to her apartment after not hearing from her. I knocked on the window, I tried the doorbell, but she didn’t respond. Then her upstairs neighbor buzzed me into the building. I had to break into Gül’s apartment via the backyard. She wasn’t in her bedroom. When I went to the living room, I saw her lying on the floor and I ran away screaming.”

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Public Abuse of Trans Individuals by Police

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Mersin’de Polisten Translara Sokakta İşkence!” (“Public Abuse of Trans Individuals by Police!”) KaosGl.org, 22 July 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17153.

 

In Mersin, police officers attacked trans women in public, shouting “Get out of here” and assaulting them with batons.

The violent treatment of trans women by the police has gone unstopped. Citing a misdemeanor law, the police attacked and publicly abused 7 trans women.

Police used tear gas on the trans women while violently attacking them. Among them were activists from the solidarity group, “7 Renk” (“7 Colors”). A 7 Renk activist, Ece Yiğit, recounted the events to KaosGL.org.

Beating for Disturbing the Peace!

“We were hanging out last night on İsmet İnönü Boulevard with the other girls. There were seven of us and we were only chatting. There was also a man next to us sipping beer. Then the police came out of nowhere and said: ‘Get the hell out of here. You are disturbing people in the vicinity.’ Honestly, we did not understand what was going on. We were not making any noise. The man next to us reacted to the police, ‘what is the harm of these people to you? They are just sitting here.’ Police attacked him first with batons. Then, they started pepper spraying us. After we protested, they assaulted us with batons.”

Police denies the events!

The trans women were later taken to the police station. No legal proceedings took place at the station. The police also declined the trans women’s request to file a report. According to the members of the LGBTI solidarity organizations, Mersin 7 Renk and Pembe Hayat (“Pink Life”), police denied the events, claiming: “There is no report of such an incident. How do you come up with this stuff?”

After no legal proceedings took place, the trans women left the station. Now they are demanding that the abuse be investigated through footage to be obtained from the security cameras.

Perpetrators of Hate Murders are unpunished!

A trans woman named Cansu was attacked in Mersin, on May 25th in an attack alluding to Miraç Kandili[1]. In December, a trans sex worker called Deniz was attacked with sticks and knives in Pozcu. Four transphobic hate murders have been committed in Mersin since 2006. However, these murders are not recorded as hate crimes and the perpetrators are not handed down the appropriate sentence.

[1] Lailat al Miraj – A religious day commemorating Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven –trans.

Armed Assault Against Trans Women Followed by Harassment

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Translara Silahlı Saldırı ve Polis Tacizi!” (“Armed Assault Against Trans Women Followed by Harassment”) KaosGL.org, 16 July 2014, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17106

3 trans women were attacked in Harbiye which was followed by police harassment. Wounded women were kept waiting in the hospital for a long time, delaying treatment.

An addition to the list of violent attacks against trans women was made yesterday. In Harbiye, where violence against LGBTI society is on the increase, three trans women were assaulted with a deadly weapon.

“They unloaded a whole magazine!”

In the assault that took place on the midnight of July 9th, a trans woman named İlknur was wounded in the head. The bullets scratched her friend’s waist. İlknur recalled the events to KaosGL.org:

“I was chatting with my trans friends by the road around 1 am. We were not working at that time. It was too crowded anyway. A black Doblo drove by quite fast and we heard gunshots unexpectedly. He unloaded a whole magazine of bullets at us. We ran towards the side and I felt a sharp pain above my eye. I asked my friend ‘I think, a stone hit my head. Can you take a look?’ My friend panicked and told me, ‘do not move, there is something metal on your head.’

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Okyanus Özyavuz’s Girlfriend: “I can’t even go the funeral of the person I love”

Source: İpek, “Sevdiğim insanın cezanesine bile gidemiyorum,” (“I can’t even go the funeral of the person I love,”) kaosGL.org, 3 July 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17014

My name is Ipek. I was Mukaddes’ girlfriend for the last 8 months. I was his first girlfriend. You can see that he was a trans person. At the time, when we first met, he told me ‘I want to be a boy,’ which didn’t surprise me, since there was already no difference, I found this quite normal.

On that day while looking for a name for him, we came over the name ‘Okyanus.’ I told him, that this name would suit him. After this day I always called him Okyanus. You can not even imagine what a good and kind person he was. His dreams were as interesting as the rainbow, he was as eager as the sky. Today I wanted to go to the funeral with a rainbow flag but at midnight my family got a threatening phone call that said ‘tonight blood will be spilled’. My mum came instantly to Izmir to pick me up. Just four hours ago, I was testifying in the police station.

Anyway, the day he hanged himself, I met Okyanus in the morning. There was a red bruise on the top left side of his head, on his left hand on the side of the thumb there were 3 cuts. ‘Are you going to explain these to me?’ I said. ‘I will explain,’ he said. ‘Yesterday, after they picked me up with the car from your place, my dad, my mum, my sibling gave me a hard time, they were really pushing me. Do you know what my dad said to me? ‘Hang yourself, so we can finally get over it,’ he said. They pressured me so much, that I don’t even know how I’m still here,’ he started to explain. After ‘If something happens to me, they won’t be able to look Mira in the eye, right?’ (Mira: His only dream was a daughter named Mira who had eyes as beautiful as his own and I’m sure he loved the dream about Mira even more than me.) Later he asked ‘If I will go, will you come with me?’ ‘I can’t come,’ I said. After this we spoke for maximum 10 minutes more. ‘I will go home,’ he said. ‘Okay,’ I said. He didn’t even properly hug me. ‘Without properly hugging me, you can’t go,’ I said. I hugged him, he hugged me the same way as before. I kissed him. He left… You finally have to realize that the pressure, that lies on LGBT-people, leads them to commit suicide. When he died, he had two pieces of paper in his pocket on which I wrote the contents of the slides I was going to prepare for him. This morning he said ‘They took the phone but I won’t give these to them even if they killed me.’ What a pain, I cannot even go to the funeral of the person I loved.

 

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/

 

Thousands March on Istiklal Avenue for ‘Trans Pride’

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Binler ‘Trans Onuru’ İçin İstiklal’de Yürüdü” (“Thousands March on Istiklal Avenue for ‘Trans Pride’”) KaosGL.org, 22 June 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16929

Thousands of people marched on Istiklal Avenue to claim trans pride and say that the state is the real perpetrator in trans murders.

faili-devlet

The fifth trans pride week, which was organized around the theme “the state is the real perpetrator” ended with a march on Istiklal Street. The week, which commenced with putting up the rainbow flag on the Bosphorus Bridge, was also concluded with fitting glamour. Thousands of people chanted, “We are transvestites. We are here. Get used to it. We are not going anywhere.”

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On The Skirts of The Ballerina: Trans X Istanbul

Source: Senem Aytaç, “Balerinanın Eteğinde: Trans x İstanbul” (“On the Skirts of the Ballerina: Trans x Istanbul”) Altyazı, 30 May 2014, http://www.altyazi.net/gozecarpanlar/balerinanin-eteginde-trans-x-istanbul/

Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı

Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı

In Maria Binder’s Trans X Istanbul, her camera follows trans activist Ebru Kırancı and exposes the struggle for survival of trans individuals in Turkey who face exile, harassment, rape and murder.

Interview by Senem Aytaç

Photos by Bahar Gökten

Trans X Istanbul (2014) chose as its subject trans individuals’ struggle to hold onto their living spaces in Avcılar Meis Housing Complex, Tarlabaşı and Gezi Park. It was directed jointly by Maria Binder and her mother, both of whom had moved to Turkey from Germany. Its main focus is the activist, Ebru Kırancı. This very personal documentary follows Kırancı both in her political efforts and in her personal life. It depicts the impossibilities of living as a trans individual in Istanbul while also clearly describing the urban transformation that Istanbul is going through. Kırancı’s very strong presence on screen, her strong will and capability, as well as her connection with the audience, ensures that the documentary is fascinating and absorbing. The documentary, part of the multi-platform effort “Transxturkey” which aims to raise awareness and increase participation for equal rights of trans individuals, continues its journey at Documentarist Istanbul Documentary Days after being premiered at the Istanbul Film Festival.

We had a chance to chat with Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı on various matters including how they met, how the film was made, and their personal story as part of the trans rights struggle in Turkey.

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Transphobic Hate Murder in Istanbul, Police Protect Killers

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Daracık Sokak’ta Katiller Vurdu, Polis Koruyor,”(“Transphobic Hate Murder in Istanbul, Police Protects Killers,”) kaosGL.org, 22 April 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=16395

Two trans women were assaulted in the district of Tarlabasi in Istanbul last night. While 21-year-old Cagla (Joker) lost her life, Nalan who was injured on her shoulder is receiving treatment.

Istanbul LGBTT Association protested the armed assault today. The assault took place on Daracik Street in the gentrification district of Tarlabasi, Istanbul last night.

Didem recounted the attack: “The police and ambulance staff did not even touch the dead body of our friend. We carried her.”

Istanbul LGBTT Association has condemned the transphobic armed attack and said: “We are transvestites, we are here, get used to it, we are not going anywhere.”

Didem talked about the attack to kaosGL.org and stated that other trans women nearby heard gun shots and two people ran way from the apartment. Didem said:

“I learned that they first drew a knife on Joker. That she called Nalan for help. At that moment they shot Joker in the chest. She went to the window and asked for help. In the meantime, the murderers ran away towards Istiklal Street.”

Emphasizing that the murder might have been for a robbery, Didem said “Joker was found dressed in the living room. It might have been an aggravated robbery.”

“They did not want to touch the dead body of our friend, we carried her”

Attitude of the police and health workers came as no surprise: “The police came and did not do anything; just looked around a bit. They did not even question anyone properly. And the ambulance did not want to carry our friend. We took her down from  the apartment on our own.”

What if the family rejects the funeral?

As she said that they had to carry their friend themselves, Didem was moved to tears and she adds: “They did not even close her eyes. We did. What her family will do is not known yet. If they do not accept the funeral of our friend, we will perform it but the state might not approve.”

Another assault took place a few days ago! 

Didem recalls another armed attack that took place a few days ago at the Omer Hayyam stop. She believes that assaults can be prevented through trans solidarity. Having been exposed to transphobic hate attacks herself, Didem criticizes the indifference of the police and impunity.

Following the murder, Istanbul LGBTI Association made an urgent call and gathered with photos of Joker at the street where the murder took place and repeated the slogan “We are transvestites, we are here, get used to it, we are not going anywhere.”

The Mother of Murdered Trans Woman: I Condemn the People Who Do Not Employ Our Daughters

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Öldürülen Transın Annesi: Kızlarımıza İş Vermeyenleri Kınıyorum” (“The Mother of Murdered Trans Woman: I Condemn the People Who Do Not Employ Our Daughters”), Kaos GL, 06 January 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15540

We talked with Melek Okan, the mother of İrem Okan who was the victim of a transphobic hate crime in Bursa in 2010: “I still have contact with the other daughters. One of our daughters has recently undergone surgery. I hatefully condemn the people who do not employ our daughters. Remember not only İrem but also Ecem who was killed a year later.”

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Transphobic Hate Crime in Mersin

Source: Baki Uguz, “Mersin’de Transfobik Nefret Saldırısı,” (“Transphobic Hate Crime in Mersin,”) Kaos GL, 24 December 2013, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15468

A transsexual who works as a sex worker in the southern city of Mersin was attacked by a group of people with cleavers and sticks in the central district of Yenişehir. The trans woman was seriously injured due to the attacks and was taken to the emergency room of the Toros State Hospital.

A trans woman named Deniz was attacked by three unknown individuals on Monday night at around 8.30 PM, as she left her house and went to local bank Akbank at Pozcu, Mersin.

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All Three Defendants Acquitted in Trans Murder

Source: “Trans cinayetinde 3 sanık da beraat etti,” (“All three defendants acquitted in trans murder,”) DHA, 13 December 2013, http://www.evrensel.net/haber/74020/trans-cinayetinde-3-sanik-da-beraat-etti.html

The three defendants who were being tried, without arrest, for the murder of trans individual Ece Pulat were acquitted due to a lack of evidence. Ece Pulat was found in İzmir’s Aliağa district having been decapitated and left on vacant land in March 2011.

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If you are a trans individual, I learned that it is useless for you to complain

“Violence Stories from Turkey” is a project by Intercultural Research Association that aims to archive and document the phenomenon of violence in Turkey; to prevent events of violence and their victims from “becoming ordinary” and “turning into statistics”; to investigate the conditions of violence in order to make future projections; and to bring together NGOs, civil society, and advocates for the defense of victims’ rights. The project publishes photographs and interviews with victims or witnesses in a simple and flexible format that allows the interviewees to express themselves.

Source: Doğu Eroğlu, “Trans bireysen şikayetçi olmak gereksizmiş, öğrendim,” (“If you are a trans individual, I learned that it is useless for you to complain,”) Türkiye’den Şiddet Hikayeleri,  12 December 2012, http://www.siddethikayeleri.com/trans-bireysen-sikayetci-olmak-gereksizmis-ogrendim/

Trans sex worker Görkem went to the police repeatedly concerning the violence she is subjected to while she is working. Each time, she was either forced to make peace with the people she was filing complaints against because of their threats or her complaints were not even taken into consideration. Görkem talked to “Violence Stories From Turkey” about the insensitivities of the police and the judicial institutions as well as the unsafe environment that sex workers live in.

I am a sex worker because I have to work. I work especially on side streets. I do not really think I am worth this little but I have to do it. I am subjected to violence when I am working as a sex worker. This past July, I got into a car and made a deal. We went to his place. He did not pay the price I wanted, we argued. I slammed the door and got out. Because my outfit was revealing, two drunk people who were passing by said: “Come, stay with us.” I sensed they were going to do something nasty. Whether I stayed or not, something bad was going to happen to me. So I sprayed their eyes and got into a cab immediately. I had also been drinking during that time. Somehow the cab turned round and round and took me back to the people I was running away from.

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