LGBTI News Turkey Week in Review: April 14-20, 2014

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are posting this weekly roundup from LGBTI News Turkey. LGBTI News Turkey is a group of volunteer-translators dedicated to providing English translations and sources on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) issues in Turkey for journalists, activists, scholars and the general public.

April 14, 2014. “Towards a homosexual-only prison

The Ministry of Justice has begun the initiation for the establishment of a special LGBT prison for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual inmates who are, at the time, held in “pink wards.” Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ declared that the project has begun to build a prison to hold prisoners and detainees with alternative sexual orientations. This project, which has no precedent anywhere in the world, was met with criticism for reasons that it would “alienate LGBT individuals from socializing environments.”

April 14, 2014. “Trans Inmate on Hunger Strike: 'I don’t want to die!'”

Avşa, a trans inmate on hunger strike for the last 60 days, has told of the sexual assault, violence and isolation she has been put through during her incarceration. “I have been hungry for 60 days and I don’t want to die. Because I was jailed before I had a chance to flourish.”

April 16, 2014. “CISST: Our Critiques of the LGBTI Prison and Suggestions for Solving the Problem

The Ministry of Justice responded to the Republican People’s Party Member of Parliament Veli Ağbaba’s inquiry by stating that they will establish a separate prison for inmates with “different sexual orientations.” As the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation, we do not find the special prison planned for LGBTI inmates to be positive and we criticize it. We have several reasons for our criticism.

April 18, 2014. “BDP MP Queries Minister About Trans Prisoner’s Condition

Halil Aksoy, a Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP from Ağrı, has submitted a query to the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdağ, on the situation of Avşa Erkuşan, a trans convict who has repeatedly been subjected to sexual harassment and assault in various prisons during her sentence and who, for the past two months, has been on a hunger strike.

April 18, 2014. “Separate Prison for the LGBTI, Collective Isolation

LGBTI organizations, lawyers and MPs from Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) offer their assessment on the project for separate prisons for the LGBTI: “collective isolation,” “concentration camp,”“labelling,”“against the ECHR”