LGBTI News Turkey Week in Review: May 5-May 11, 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.

May 8, 2014. Beyoğlu Chief of Police: Wait and See What Else I Will Shut Down

Daracık Street in the Beyoğlu District of Istanbul, where a trans individual was murdered two weeks ago, is once again in the spotlight; this time due to claims of forcible “shut-downs.” Istanbul Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite Transsexual Solidarity Association (Istanbul LGBTT) has claimed that building doors in the street where trans individuals were staying have been welded shut. Beyoğlu District Chief of Police, Ünal Altıner, has denied the claim; whereas Director of Municipal Police, Ahmet Öztürk, disclosed that the Beyoğlu Police already had a request for unoccupied buildings to be closed down and that they were acting on that request.

May 8, 2014. Fighting Against Discrimination in Mersin

The Platform for Fighting Against Discrimination was established in Mersin with the support of 19 organizations. Hüseyin Aslan, a member of the board of directors for Akdeniz Göç-Der (Mediterranean Association for Migration) held a press conference at the Mersin Journalists Association and explained that the Platform for Fighting Against Discrimination will be the voice of those individuals who are defenseless in the face of discrimination.

May 8, 2014. Avşa’s Letter: Transsexuals and Turkish Prisons

Avşa, the trans inmate, has been exposed to abuses, ill treatments, harassments and rapes in prisons for years. She was brave to report these violations of rights to authorities by criminal complaints many times, but this only increased threats and attacks against her. Avşa wrote a letter to our organization (Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation – CISST) about what she has been through.

May 8, 2014. Women’s Organization at Kocaeli University: 'Our booth is beautiful, why don’t you come?'

We have very good news for you. We turned our two-year-old group Kocaeli University Bread and Roses into a workshop.  In other words, we formed the Kocaeli University Bread and Roses Women Studies Workshop!

May 9, 2014. Trans Inmate Funda’s Letter on Prisons in Turkey

Funda, a trans prisoner incarcerated for the past ten years, describes her experiences in various prisons. Corresponding with the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation, Funda testifies about the early years of her sentence and says that she will continue her story in her letters to come.