ISTANBUL, Turkey — A transgender woman who worked as florist has been found dead in her Istanbul apartment, the fourth transgender person to be murdered in the country in the past seven months.
The victim, identified only as Gaye, was found murdered on Monday night; the manner in which she was murdered is unknown, pending an autopsy report, reported bianet.org, an English-language news outlet in Tureky.
Reports indicate Gaye had opened and ran her own flower shop, and was in a 15-year relationship.
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Ebru Kırancı from the advocacy group Istanbul LGBTT, urged the Turkish government to pass legislation to protect LGBT people: “This is another hate crime. But who did it? We need a law against hate crimes immediately. Is human life this cheap?”
“We have assigned a lawyer for this case and we will be on the pursuit,” said Kırancı. “Police didn’t make a statement on how the murder happened. When I went to her apartment last night, Gaye’s neighbors said she might have been strangled but ultimately we will find it after the autopsy.”
Kemal Ördek from the group Kırmızı Şemsiye Association, a sexual health and human rights group, said Gaye is the fourth transgender person to have been murdered in Turkey this year; 11 others have been assaulted.
“Four trans murders in 7 months is a serious toll,” said Ördek. “Every summer, the toll is on the rise. These are only the cases we know of. We don’t know what’s happening in 81 provinces of Turkey. We only know of cases when they happen in big cities or where trans communities are active. Therefore, we can’t tell an exact number.”
Article continues belowA report by KAOS GL, Turkey’s main LGBT advocacy group, recorded the murders of six transgender people and five gays in 2012.
“We want Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies and the Ministry of Justice take direct actions about hate crimes against LGBT people, however they keep silent,” Ömer Akpınar, a spokesman for KAOS GL, told LGBTQ Nation.
“Turkey’s agenda is busy with peace-making process between the Turkish army and Kurdish guerillas nowadays but as LGBT organizations and activists we say that peace is not only about disarmament, it is a much wider concept that must guarantee protection and liberty for all, definitely including LGBT people.” he said.