The slayings this winter of two transgender women in Turkey highlight a pattern of violence and the need for stronger protection from the government, stated four Turkish and international human rights organizations in a letter to Turkish authorities.
The groups called on Turkey to remedy the conditions that place transgender people at risk from acts of violence by enacting anti-discrimination protections, instituting programs to combat prejudice and hatred and repealing laws that provide an opportunity for police to harass stigmatized groups. The letter was sent by Pembe Hayat (Pink Life), Human Rights Watch, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
“Protecting people and preventing violence means more than investigating after the fact,” said Juliana Cano Nieto of HRW. “Without meaningful government action to affirm their rights and ensure their safety, transgender people in Turkey will continue to live in fear.”
Since November 2008, at least eight transgender people have been murdered in Istanbul and Ankara.