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Transphobic Hate Crime After Transgender Day Of Remembrance

Nilay, a trans woman sex worker was found dead November 23 in her own house in Maltepe, Istanbul, several days after Transgender Day of Remembrance. Police response to an Istanbul LGBTI activist who requested information was “Already dead, why do you care?”

A friend of deceased Nilay stressed the fact that this transphobic hate crime took place right after 20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance: “The attack took place yesterday after 3pm. Our mutual friend E. talked to Nilay on phone around 3 pm. Nilay said that her client was about to arrive and then she hanged up. Later, we tried to call her again but couldn’t reach. E. got suspicious at night and went to her home. She insistently knocked on the door but there was no answer. She called a locksmith and when they entered the house, they found Nilay’s dead body. I saw the house myself, too. Everything was scattered. There was blood. The girl’s body was stabbed everywhere. In the end when she was in death agony, he strangled her with the cord of a bathrobe, and left her there with the knife he used.”

Police to Istanbul LGBTI activist: “Already dead, why do you care?”

K. from Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association said that they kept calling police offices all night after they had heard about the attack in order to get specific information. However, they did not get any response from the police. Arat said, “Police officers talked to me in a very disrespectful manner and mockingly. We were trying to get information for legal follow up procedures, but they did not provide us any information. They said ‘he is already dead, his throat is cut open, why do you care’ and such other sentences.”

According to the information provided by police to Nilay’s friend, the suspect has not been identified yet. Istanbul LGBTI lawyers will follow up the legal process after murdering.

Transphobic Hate Attack on TDOR!

Moreover, on November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, another transphobic hate crime took place in Turkey. Around 3 am on November 20, a trans woman named Adriana, was attacked by a group of men in Istanbul who wounded her by a pry bar.

Sadly, every 36 hours a trans person is reported murdered, according to the Trans Murder Monitoring project conducted by Transgender Europe (TGEU). Turkey is one of the countries leading in hate crimes against trans people. Carla LaGata/Carsten Balzer & Boglarka Fedorko in their recently published article “The Grim Numbers and Human Cost of Violence against Trans People” state that “trans sex workers report alarmingly high levels of physical or sexual violence, often committed by the police”, and “in the incidents that involved physical and sexual assault and psychological violence at the hands of the police, the majority of the victims were trans-women sex workers”. These conclusions are based on TGEU’s ProTrans project that recorded more than 100 hate-crime incidents between June 2014 and August 2015 in Serbia, Hungary, Moldova, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan. Another 2015 survey by TGEU’s Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide project [PDF] states that 79 percent of trans sex workers interviewed in Turkey reported experiencing police harassment.

The authors of “The Grim Numbers and Human Cost of Violence against Trans People” also highlight that “while any trans or gender-diverse person from any background can fall victim to murder, the patterns of such crimes are anything but random. Of the reported murders since 2008, 99 percent of the victims were female-identified trans and gender-diverse people, and 65 percent of those whose occupation was known were sex workers”.