‘ISIS and its mentality is supported, protected and living not only in Iraq, Syria, and other countries, but also in [Turkey].’ –human rights activist.
LGBT individuals beheaded, burnt to death in Turkey
As Turkey is increasingly sliding into Islamist fascism, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in the country is being subjected to unspeakable crimes.
The latest victims were living in Istanbul.
23-Year-Old Transgender Raped and Burnt To Death in Istanbul
Hande Kader, a 23-year-old transgender from Turkey, was burned to death after getting tortured and raped in Istanbul. Kader had been missing since August 6. Her burnt dead body was found on August 14. She was last seen getting in a car in the Harbiye district in Istanbul.
“She was murdered in a savage way,” Michelle Demisevich, a transgender journalist, told the newspaper Hurriyet. “It is thought that she was raped by more than one person. According to my friends who identified her dead body, she had been exposed to brutal violence and torture. Those who committed such inhumane torture also burned her as if torture were not enough!”
“The Murderers Are Not Punished”
Demisevich said that most of the previous murderers of transgender people have not been apprehended. Investigations of these murders can drag on for years.
“Many transgender people were killed at the beginning of this year. But the murderers of so few of them have been caught.
“Two people tried to murder our friend called Azeri Gulsen in October, 2014 in her house in Istanbul. She stayed alive by accident. When we found her at her house, she was lying in blood on the floor. Seven or eight lawyers defended her at the court, some MPs also got involved but not a single step has been taken. The police have not even completed the investigation. However, they have camera recordings. And it has been two years,” she said.
“This was the case in 1980s, 1990s, and in 2000s, as well,” Demisevich added.
“A citizen of Turkey has been burnt to death. She was raped. What else could be more important than that? But the police say, ‘Will we exert ourselves to take care of a faggot?’ Both the police and the judiciary have this mentality. They do not think handling the case of a transgender, a transvestite, a faggot or a pansy is fitting for them.”
Equal Before the Law? Not in This Case
“Women have no value in Turkey, and if you are a transgender, it is a disaster,” said Demisevich. “But one also has to stay alive. Transgender individuals do sex work not because they prefer it, but because they cannot find jobs. Indeed, transgenders are not given jobs in Turkey.”
On August 17, the Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) held a press conference about the murder of Kader.
“In a region where there are surveillance cameras all around, it is impossible not to have found the number plate of the car Kader got in,” said Derya Gazioglu, an activist with the IHD. “But neither she nor those who kidnapped her were found for days. The incident was ignored and silently evaded.
“The judiciary, administrative and political authorities who should be responsible for the public security have not even made a statement on the murder, when they are actually supposed to concern themselves with it.”
“The government sees transgender individuals as people that should never exist,” said Gazioglu.
“Due to this mentality, people who think they have the right and audacity to burn Hande Kader have appeared. Just like Kurds, leftists and progressives that are targeted are lynched due to the governmental policy of impunity for the perpetrators,” according to Gazioglu.
Syrian Gay Refugee Beheaded in Istanbul
Muhammed Wisam Sankari, a gay Syrian refugee, was stabbed multiple times and beheaded in Istanbul last month. His body was mutilated beyond recognition. He had arrived in Istanbul from Syria a year ago.
Sankari left his house in Istanbul on July 23. He was found dead two days later. He had been threatened, kidnapped and raped during his brief life in Istanbul. His murderers have not been caught.
Sankari’s housemates, Rayan, Diya and Gorkem, told the news outletKaosGL.org about the repeated threats Sankari was getting and his murder.
“We Complained to the Police. They Did Not Do Anything”
“We were staying in a different house before and we had to leave that house just because we are gay,” Rayan said. “About five months ago, a group kidnapped Wisam [Sankari] in Fatih. They took him to a forest, beat him and raped him. They were going to kill him but Wisam saved himself by jumping onto the road. We complained at the police headquarters but they did nothing.”
Rayan added that they had difficulty even walking on the streets of Aksaray where they lived and where crowded male groups wielding knives had threatened them several times, saying they wanted to rape them.
“On Sunday, the police called us,” Gorkem said. “We went to Yenikapi with Rayan. They had cut Wisam violently. So violent that two knives had broken inside him. They had beheaded him. His upper body was beyond recognition; his internal organs were out. We could only identify our friend from his pants.”
“Who is Next?”
Diya said they are afraid to go out on the streets for fear of being the next targets of violence. “I am so scared. I feel like everyone is staring at me on the street. I was kidnapped twice before. They let me go in Cerkezkoy and I barely got home one time. I went to the UN for my identity card but they did not even respond to that. No one cares about us. They just talk.
“I get threats over the phone. I speak calmly so something does not happen. It does not matter if you are Syrian or Turkish. If you are gay, you are everyone’s target. They want sex from you and when you don’t do it, they just tag along. I don’t even have an identity card. Who would protect me? Who is next?”
“ISIS mentality lives in this country”
Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Syria and Iraq throw men convicted of homosexuality off rooftops or behead them. Gays and transgender people in Turkey, a European Union applicant, are also exposed to similar crimes, if not worse. They are constantly threatened, kidnapped, beaten, raped, beheaded or burnt to death. And the murderers are almost never brought to justice.