trans women

Trans Woman Attacked with “Allahu Akbar” Chants in Mersin

 

Two assailants in Mersin’s Pozcu district attacked a trans woman with a knife and iron rod, shouting “Allahu Akbar”  [“God is Great”]. It was learned that the police did not take action regarding the two people who attacked the trans woman saying “We’re going to kill all of you.”

Source: “Mersin’de trans kadına tekbirli saldırı” (“‘Allahu Akbar’ Heard During Attack on Trans Woman in Mersin”), T24, 6 August 2016, http://m.t24.com.tr/haber/mersinde-trans-kadina-tekbirli-saldiri,353607

Following the attack, the trans woman who had gone to the hospital was discharged without being given a report.

Two assailants attacked a trans woman with an iron rod around 03:00 on 6 August at the Topçular bus stop in Mersin’s Pozcu district.

According to Cumhuriyet’s story, the trans woman called the police to report the assailants, but the police who came to the scene distanced the assailants by taking the knife from their hands and tossing it down the storm drain, and then left the scene saying “You leave, we’ll do what needs to be done.”

After the police left the scene, the assailants this time attacked the trans woman, Melisa, with iron rods. Melisa alleged that the assailants, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” said, “We’re going to kill all of you,” and that the police who came back to the scene took no action.

7 Colors LGBTI Association: We’re going to start the judicial process

Melisa, who went to the Mersin State Hospital through her own efforts, was sent home after her wounds were dressed without being given a report.

The Mersin 7 Colors LGBTI Association for its part expressed that they were going to start the judicial process against this hate crime, which they announced through their social media accounts.

 

Sexual Harassment and Attack Against Trans Women at Bakırköy Women’s Prison

Sexual harassment and attacks against LGBTI activists visiting Bakırköy Women’s Prison continue.

Source:“Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Cezaevinde Translara Cinsel Taciz ve Saldırı”, (“Sexual Harassment and Attack Against Trans Women at Bakırköy Women’s Prison”), Pembe Hayat, 18 July 2015, http://pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=818

Yağmur Beyrut Afşar, an LGBTI activist who went to Bakırköy Women’s Prison to visit an inmate, was denied a security search by female guards due to her trans identity at the prison’s 2nd checkpoint. After being directed to the security line for male visitors, Afşar refused the search. Afşar argued with a male guard who harassed her by “sticking out his tongue” and left the room.

Not the first instance of hate against trans visitors

Last month, Kıvılcım Arat, the general secretary of Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association and an activist for the Democratic Women’s Movement, was subjected to a forced search by guards and organized harassment by soldiers.

Three-month visiting penalty

Last week, Arat visited the prison again and was told by the guards that her friend had received a three-month revocation of visiting privileges. Arat was shown a report that cited “insulting the officer on duty” as the reason of the penalty.

Ebru Kırancı: We will go to court if necessary

The president of the Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association Ebru Kırancı noted that the government’s prison practices are systematic: “They are trying to oppress the revolutionary women that they have incarcerated within the prison and by harassing and keeping away their visitors. Of course, we are dealing with the issue of transphobia in addition to the isolation that they impose on women. I think this is a practice to discourage trans women from visiting inmates. They hope that trans women will give up on visits because of the undignified searches and harassment carried out by male guards. Of course, they are forgetting that trans women won’t comply by pressure, brutality, or mistreatment. If these procedures were successful, the pressure from the state and society would have already changed things. We will take the transphobic attacks in prisons to court if necessary.

Armenian Trans Woman Bedi Keskin: “Many of my trans friends are jealous of my life”

We met with Bedi Keskin before the Trans Pride Parade on Sunday, June 21st. Keskin is an Armenian transsexual. In a sense, she is ‘the Other of the Other.’ At 51 years old, Keskin is one of the best stone setters at the Grand Bazaar.

Source: Maral Dink, “Çoğu trans arkadaşım hayatımı kıskanıyor” (“Many of my trans friends are jealous of my life”), Agos, 19 June 2015, http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/11930/cogu-trans-arkadasim-hayatimi-kiskaniyor

Transsexuals no doubt are at the top of the groups who suffer the most from discrimination, hate, and violence. Therefore, high on the list of topics underlined during the 6th Trans Pride Week that began earlier this week is the demand for hate crime laws. We met with Bedri Keskin before the Trans Pride Parade to be held on Sunday, June 21st. Keskin is an Armenian transsexual. In a sense, she is the Other of the Other. At 51 years old, Keskin is one of the best stone setters at the Grand Bazaar. Having begun her career as a man, she has continued the craft as a woman at the same place, in the male dominated space of the Grand Bazaar. And she has done so together with her brothers, nieces, and nephews. She has made herself accepted with the support of her family and her success in the business. There are many things she holds privately inside her. I asked her what I could and she shared what she could. At the end of our conversation, she said something I will never forget: “You have a life to live; I have a life to achieve.”

bedi_1

Let us begin with the years you began to feel like a woman and decided to become a woman…

You understand it at the age you begin to think. You feel as a child that you are not a boy. Even then, I used to wear my elder sisters’ clothes, use nail polish, and secretly put on lipstick. It was there at birth. I was born with the soul of a woman. I was 28 when I decided to unite my body with my soul. I underwent estrogen therapy for a year and a half, I had laser hair removal. The most difficult period is the transition period. I had surgery when I was 30.

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Two transphobic attacks in Istanbul on 12 May

On Tuesday, 12 May 2015, 2 trans women sex workers were attacked in different districts in Istanbul (Fındıkzade and Bağdat Boulevard).

Source: Pembe Hayat, “İstanbul’da Dün Gece 2 Yerde Transfobik Nefret Saldırısı Yaşandı”, (“Two transphobic attacks in Istanbul on 12 May”), pembehayat.org, 13 May 2015, http://pembehayat.org/haberler.php?id=766

Migel, a trans woman sex worker living in Fındıkzade, was attacked in her own apartment by a group of men. She was brutally injured with deep cuts on several parts of her body. She was brought to Sisli Etfal Hospital by her friends. The attackers were caught after statements to the police and prosecutor’s office. The attackers had previous records for robbery and assault and are in custody.

One night, two attacks

The same night, Işıl, another trans woman sex worker in Bağdat Boulevard, was attacked by a group of 5 men. She was assaulted and her jaw was broken. She is receiving treatment in a hospital. Her situation is stable but there are bruises on her body due to the assault. The attackers have not been found.

Attacks on trans women are increasing

Last week there were 4 attacks on trans women sex workers in 3 different cities (Istanbul, Izmir and Kocaeli). Pembe Hayat/Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association protested these attacks in Ankara with a press release.

Ankara Bar Association provides pro-bono legal support for right violations against LGBTIs. Trans residents of Ankara can contact the Gelincik Center for pro-bono legal aid from the Bar Association.

High turnout at the hate crimes panel in Mersin

Ismail Saymaz from the Radikal newspaper and Yıldız Tar from Kaos GL participated in the “Hate Crimes” panel, on “Hrant Dink and Zirve Publishing House Assassinations” and “Sexual Orientation- and Gender Identity-based Hate Crimes,” at Mersin University. The panel was moved to a larger lecture hall due to high turnout.

mersin-universitesi-nefret-suclari-paneli

Photo by Salih-i Umar

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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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From Lynching and Attacks to the Parliament: LGBTI candidates for nomination

LGBTI activists from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spoke to KaosGL.org and explained why they became candidates for nomination. 
 
Source: Yildiz Tar, “Linç ve saldırılardan Meclis’e: LGBTİ aday adayları” (“From Lynching and Attacks to the Parliament: LGBTI candidates for nomination”), Kaos GL, 4 March 2015, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18882
 
As general elections approach, candidates for nominations from various political parties are making their declarations. LGBTI activists from the CHP and HDP have announced their candidacies. 
 
Niler Albayrak and Barış Sulu, two candidates for nomination, came together at “the Politics School” organized by SPoD (Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association). We held the microphone to Albayrak, who is a candidate from the CHP, Istanbul, Third District, and Sulu from the HDP, Eskişehir. We asked them what they would like to do if they are elected to the Parliament and why they became candidates for nomination.
Barış Sulu and Niler Albayrak

Barış Sulu and Niler Albayrak

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Esmeray: “I want my ID card”

The judge’s faulty verdict…the Supreme Court approving it without examining it…The fact that Registration Office is not objecting.. The weight of all the irresponsibilities is on me again. Why should I file a lawsuit again? Who is to right this wrong?

Source: Esmeray [1], “Kimliğimi İstiyorum”,(“I want my ID card”), kaosgl.org, 4 February 2015, http://www.kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18632

Sister, this state or this judiciary has given a ridiculous verdict to the lawsuit I filed related to identity change after gender reassignment surgery.

After gender reassignment surgery one makes a claim to the Registry Office. The petition abstract for the lawsuit goes like this: “The client has undergone gender reassignment surgery. It is requested that her name shall be changed and she should be transferred from the male section to the female section on her ID …etc.” The court asks for a report from you – they ask for the evidence. This was exactly how it was written on my petition and the requested reports were presented. The court has decided: “Only the name change to be done.”

ESMERAY

It is impossible to understand why the judge issued such a verdict. To lawyers objecting to the verdict, the judge said: “it is a written verdict, there is nothing we can do after this point.” The verdict was referred to a higher council, the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court did not object and approved the verdict. Sister, if we go for an appeal, it will take years. I didn’t want to go for an appeal. I don’t have time. They’ve been making me sweat for a piece of paper for years. As I wrote before, this appeal thing will at least take two years.

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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/

 

Transphobia at Starbucks

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu. “Starbucks’ta Transfobi” (“Transphobia at Starbucks”) Bianet, 17 October 2014, http://bianet.org/bianet/lgbti/159242-starbucks-ta-transfobi

Instead of serving her coffee, the Starbucks at the Cevahir Shopping Mall, Istanbul, gave Michelle Demishevich her money back. Demishevich, who protested with a sit-in at the coffee shop, is awaiting a written apology.

Source: Bianet

Source: Bianet

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Transgender people were not taken to the hospital, instead, their bodies would be dumped on the highway

Source: Michelle Demishevich, “Translar hastaneye alınmaz, cesetleri otobanda bırakılırdı” (“Trans people were not taken to the hospital, instead, their bodies would be dumped on the highway”) T24, 11 October 2014, http://t24.com.tr/haber/translar-hastaneye-alinmaz-cesetleri-otobanda-birakilirdi,273578

Forty-year-old LGBTI activist H.Y. described the brutality that the police inflicted on transgender women at the Gayrettepe Police Headquarters at the end of the ’90s.

Leaving her family when she was 14 years old, H.Y. had no choice but to engage in sex work in order to survive. In 1996, when she was 17 years old, H.Y. was taken into custody while performing sex work out of necessity in Merter, and underwent torture for a week at the Gayrettepe Police Headquarters.

Currently 40 years old, LGBTI activist H.Y. told T24 about the oppression and torture that the police perpetrated against transgender women. Stating that police torture was systematically perpetrated against trans women sex workers for a period lasting from 1996 to 1999, she said, “The police would dump our dying friends on the highway and leave.”

Explaining that during the time she engaged in sex work in Merter she and her friends were frequently subjected to police brutality, H.Y. described those days as follows:

“While we were in Merter, the police would want to arrest us, and we would flee. They had cudgels in their hands and would throw them at our feet so that we would trip. The cudgel would land around our feet and we would trip. In fact, many of our friends died because of this. On the highway, cars would run over trans women. The police would dump our dying friends there and leave.”

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Lots of guns but no trans!

Source: Helin, “Top Var, Tüfek Var, trans yok!” (“Lots of guns but no trans!”), KaosGL, 15 August 2014 [March-April 2011], http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=17309.

Helin wrote about her “adventure with the military” for KaosGL’s 117th issue (March – April 2011) titled “Militarism.”

My name is Helin; I am a 26 year old transsexual woman. My adventure with the military lasted for about six days. And this process was such a tiring and chafing one… Even now, as I am writing about my experiences, I get goose bumps: I might end up having to re-experience this all over again as I write about it. I was a teacher for 3 years following my BA. I was so anxious about the military that I neither had the power to go to the draft office, nor to get a “pink report.” I didn’t want to get into trouble with these procedures. This year, along with the process of opening up to my family, I found that power in me.

The First Day

Doctor: “Are your breasts real?”

I didn’t know what I was about to live through as I, along with my mother, set out to Cebeci Draft Office; nor did I know that my adventure was going to last so long. The appalling experience had already started in my very first moments as I stepped through the doors of the office. Once our belongings were searched, we were asked for our IDs. I find it very difficult to describe how I felt at that moment. I gave my ID card to the soldier in front of me with much haste and without looking at his face. But this haste couldn’t prevent the chuckles, the whispers, nor the sounds and gestures of disapproval, along with the humiliating looks, to surround us. Both my mother and I had become so tense that I don’t remember how we went from that doorway to the relevant office. Once there, they referred us to Mamak Draft Office, which was located at another floor of the same building. Here, we were surrounded yet again by the gaze of both the officers and the draft candidates who were receiving their conscription. The minutes that would truly wear me out were those when it was our turn to be served. I was asked to get 24 passport-style photos downstairs. Everyone was gazing at me as my photographs were being taken. Some were looking in a manner to harass me because they understood that I was trans, and others because I was a woman. Even though we were inside this office, there were even some who verbally harassed me, as if we were on the streets. I remember how I got hot flashes, how my hands started sweating, and how I wanted to die. Without my mother at my side, I wouldn’t have stayed there for a moment. But I endured. Because in order for me to do as I wanted, I needed that report that would brand me as “ill.” This was a great contradiction for me. I kept trying to explain to my family that I was not ill. And now, with my mother beside me, I was officially petitioning the state to accept that I was ill and to not draft me.

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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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