AYDIN, Turkey — Police in Aydin, Turkey are investigating the murder of a 24-year-old transgender woman who was stabbed to death at her home on Tuesday.
Dora Özer was found dead by her housemate, and is the latest victim of a spate of transphobic violence in the country.Last year another trans woman, Nükhet Kızılkaya, was murdered in the same province of Kuşadası, a popular holiday resort in Western Turkey.
Human rights Watch (HRW) reported in 2010 that there has been several transphobic murders in the country, and has called on the Turkish government to take action to prosecute and legislate against discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
However, Turkey’s government has said it has no plans to include such measures in its new constitution.
LGBT rights advocates have asked Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies for a statement, but so far they say no response was forthcoming.
Local gay rights organizations, KAOS GL and Pink Life LGBTT condemned the Turkish government’s reluctance to tackle transphobic violence at large stating that murderers of trans people rarely face justice and on the rare occasion that they do they receive lenient punishment because judges often find they have been “unjustly provoked”.
Buse Kılıçkaya, a trans activist from Pink Life LGBTT Association stated that the issue of trans murders should be taken seriously.
Kılıçkaya also pointed parallels between the popular anti government Gezi Park protests in Istanbul and trans struggle, saying that in both cases the “resistance to violence is no different.”