The undeclared war against LGBTT people in Turkey continues

March 29, 2009

Kaos GL logoI’ve just read the press release by the LGBTT Rights Platform (link here), posted on the Kaos GL website:

Homophobic and transphobic violence doesn’t stop: Assault in Eskiþehir, murders in Bursa and Edirne!

A transsexual woman was attacked and beaten in Eskisehir. A transsexual woman was found her head cut in Bursa. A man has been killed by his friend on the claim that he asked for sexual intercourse.

There is still no word from the authorities about the cases of Ahmet Yildiz who were shot to death on 15 July 2008 in Istanbul and Dilek Ince who were shot to death on 12 November 2008 in Ankara. While we were in grief after them, another transsexual woman Ebru Soykan was stabbed to death on 10 March 2009 in Istanbul.

We continue to ask the same question again, “When are you going to stop watching?” The murderers, who are encouraged by the silence of the state, continue on their fearless attacks. The recent news from Bursa horrified the LGBTT community in Turkey. We are in great sorrow after these brutal attacks.

Human rights violations against LGBTT individuals continue in the form of violation of rights to life

[…]

We are worried!

Because the government does not take action to enact necessary legislation and implementation to avoid human rights violations against LGBTT individuals

[…]

We are concerned, because the government makes LGBTT persons easy targets by watching the attacks on them and thus encourages murderers.

We are concerned, because the government is paving the way for killings by not protecting the right to life of its LGBTT citizens.

We ask!

Until when are you going to stop watching the hate against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, and Transsexual (LGBTT) individuals?

Until when are you going to stop awarding crimes against LGBTT individuals and encouraging new crimes?

[…]

We wonder if there is an undeclared war against homosexuals and transsexuals in Turkey?

If not, how many others should be killed to make you take action?

We don’t need mercy; we claim our basic human rights:

The right to life of LGBTT individuals must be protected equally with other citizens.

Cases of gay and trans murders must be solved.

Attackers and murderers must be found.

Decreases based on grievous provocation while punishing murderers of gay and trans persons must be abolished.

Crimes against LGBTT individuals must be defined under “hate crimes.”

You are committing crime by watching the murders, not providing right to life and imprisoning LGBTT persons into an unjust life!

LGBTT RIGHTS PLATFORM
Ýzmir Black Pink Triangle Association
Ýzmir Transvestite and Transsexual Initiative
Kaos GL Association
Lambdaistanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association
PurpleHand Eskiþehir LGBTT Initiative
Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association
Diyarbakýr Piramid LGBTT Initiative

This is the fifth post I’ve written in four months about the appalling situation faced by LGBTT people in Turkey. It’s obvious that the government condones the violent attacks on, and murders of, my trans sisters. Once again I say: this is unacceptable and must stop immediately.

It mystifies me why Turkey’s application for full membership of the EU is being taken so seriously, given its continued blatant and cynical flaunting of the European Convention on Human Rights. I call on those involved in the negotiations to suspend them, pending urgent action by the Turkish government to stop the violence, bring the perpetrators to justice – and observe the human rights of all LGBTT people in Turkey immediately.

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4 Responses to “The undeclared war against LGBTT people in Turkey continues”

  1. Ruth Moss Says:

    Oh god, it’s like an epidemic of violence against trans women over there at the moment. Very sad and very scary. The government needs to get its act together immediately.

  2. GallingGalla Says:

    i suspect that the EU values our lives about as much as the Turkish government does, which is to say very little. they will give turkey a pass on this, and join turkey in watching and standing by and doing nothing.

  3. Roz Kaveney Says:

    The trouble with linking this to Turkey’s application to the EU is that the people in Turkey who don’t want to be part of the EU are precisely the people most likely to be carrying out killings, which is to say an odd alliance of two groups that hate each other viz radical Islamists and secular militarist nationalists. Indeed, while both groups would be fairly keen on killing LGBT people anyway, the idea that it might lead to Turkey’s not getting into the EU is likely to be a major objective of such killings. This, of course, makes the failure to act of the Turkish government even more shameful, not less, and means that pressure needs to be put on them, but pressure that understands context…

    It is always a problem for the globalism-sceptical Left that the Far Right hate globalization even more than we do and regard much of what we hold dear as intrinsic to the process.

    In the meantime, one of the best books about the complexities of politics in modern Turkey is Orhan Pamuk’s novel Snow.

  4. Helen G Says:

    …the people in Turkey who don’t want to be part of the EU are precisely the people most likely to be carrying out killings…

    Yeah, but the Turkish government presumably don’t feel the same way or they wouldn’t be taking part in negotiations for full membership?

    My thinking, loosely, was that since most of the violence seems to be sanctioned by government employees (by which I mean ambulances not arriving, police investigations fading into silence, etc) then perhaps a carrot-and-stick approach to the application might help to focus the senior members of the government on the issue.

    I’d be interested to know how you think human rights for LGBT people could be implemented, given the indifference of the government to take action?


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