*UPDATE* IDAHOt: violence against Turkish trans people

May 18, 2010

Pembe Hayat (Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association) has issued a press release (in Turkish, link here) about yesterday’s harassment of 5 trans people by Turkish police. KaosGL, too, has issued a press release about the incident (also in Turkish, link here).

And via email from a friend in Turkey:

Police Brutally Attacked Transgenders in Ankara

Transgenders who are members of Pink Life Association were arrested after being brutally beaten up in Ankara. On the night of May 17th, in Esat district, Ankara police brutally attacked and dragged 5 transgenders to the Esat Police Station.

Police’s response to those who called the station was “Why do you care about these? Mind your own work.” 5 trangender individuals were kept at the station till morning.

Arrested 5 transgenders were later taken to medical jurisprudence as a result of insisting demand of Pink Life and Kaos GL members and after lawyers showed up at the police station. After medical jurisprudence controls, 5 transgenders were again taken to the police station, where they were released at 06:00.

Here is Pink Life’s description of the police attacks:

On Baglar Street and infront of Seyranbaglari Post Office, police cars were pulled in front of the private cars of transgenders. When they refused to get out of the car, they have asked for a car wrecker. When the incident were heard by other people, the crowd grew bigger. Then the police used pepper spray and cudgels to break the crowd. Then they have taken Buse Kilickaya, Derya (Selay) Tunc, Turkan, Eser and Yesim who were in the car to the police station.

Last time we have seen our friends, we could see blood coming out of their mouths and noses of our friends. The polices later moved us -nearly 50 members of Pink Life and Kaos GL- away from the police station.

Arrested transgenders were released at 06:00!

At around 03:00, lawyer Hakan Yıldırım stated that the 5 transgenders would be taken first to the medical jurisprudence and then brought back to the police station. The arrests were ended at 06:00.

Pink Life Association will be protesting the brutal attacks and arrests of 5 transgenders today (May 18th) at 18:00 in front of the Human Rights Monument on Yuksel Street.

Pink Life’s release:

End the Police Violence!

Transphobic State, Get Your Hands Off Of Us!

The car of 5 transgender activists from Pink Life Association was stopped by the police cars on the night of May 17th at around 23:00 on Baglar Street and in front of Seyranbağlari Post Office.

Despite the fact that they have shown their personal identification cards, they were brutally gotten out of their cars for no specific reason. By cudgels and pepper spray, police attacked nearly 25 LGBT rights activists by who came to help the trans friends who were resisting.

After the group was dispersed, the 5 transgenders were forcibly pulled out of their cars and brutally attacked by cudgels and kicks.

We will gather for a sit-down protest in front of the Human Rights Monument on Yuksel Street at 18:00 on May 18 for our trans friends who were exposed to discriminatory violence and hate. We will protest the transphobic state’s violence with our candles.

We are calling all to unite for our human rights!

Trans people won’t stay silent! We won’t stay silent to the violence!

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ETA, 18 May 2010

Via Press Release from the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights:

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights, declared: “Like homophobia, transphobia is not acceptable anywhere, be it inside or outside the European Union. We call for a serious investigation into these acts, and their outright condemnation by police authorities!”

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, further added: “How can Turkey claim to be a true democracy if police forces disregard the rule of law, and attack those it must protect? We call on Turkish authorities to reprimand these police officers, and clearly affirm that LGBT people, and in particular transgender people, must be protected from violence.”

The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights strongly condemns the attacks, and will further seek to include mentions of these breaches of human rights by authorities in accession talks between the European Union and Turkey.

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