Human Rights

Refugee transgender woman was killed in Istanbul

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Syrian refugee transgender woman Werde was killed in her home in Istanbul. After the murder, Istanbul LGBTI Association and KADAV took action to hold the funeral. In her statement to KaosGL.org Kıvılcım Arat from Istanbul LGBTI emphasized that refugee transgender women are targeted by both anti-immigrants and transphobia.

On December 17, last Saturday, Syrian refugee transgender woman Werde was stabbed by knife in her house in Cihangir by a man pretending as a customer. After the crime, police could not identify the murderer from the security footage. Werde's friends went to the Forensic Medicine Institute on Sunday, December 18th, but they were not allowed to take the funeral. Her friends said that Werde's body has become unrecognizable.

After transphobic hate crime, Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association and Solidarity with Women Foundation took an action to hold Werde’s funeral which is being held in the Forensic Medicine Institute. Istanbul LGBTI stated that they want to hold the funeral as trans and non-trans women.

“Refugee trans women are more-open to violence”

According to the information provided by the Istanbul LGBTI Association, Werde was a transgender woman who lost her family in the war. Werde was working in a bar near Taksim Square. Istanbul LGBTI activist Kıvılcım Arat who met with her four days before her murder stated to KaosGL.org that:

“We interviewed with about fifteen Syrian refugee sex worker, transgender women. Werde was one of these women. All refugee transgender women complain of two things: intense police and 'community' violence. No documents are given to the refugees because of a recent problem in the system. The system is down. Having a legal status is the basic demand of transgender women. Actually, we met with Werde because of this issue. We would have planned to give legal advisory to her..”

Target of anti-immigrant and transphobic behaviors...

Arat continued to describe the problems faced by refugee transgender women, whom they got in touch as the association:

“Migrant transgender women complain especially about the dolphin teams they call 'reddish police'. They are telling you that they are exposed to too much violence. One of the women I interviewed had a crack in the head, the other's eyes were  bruised, for example... Refugee transgender women are exposed more violence than transgender women from Turkey. They are both targets of anti-immigration and transphobia. As long as they will not have legal status, we can say that violence will increase. Transgender women two times more vulnerable are faced with a series of crimes leading up to the hate crime. The police are also violent against them, therefore they do not want to go to police.”

Arat concluded her words by saying, "We should fight against immigrant opposition and transphobia together."

Following the interview with Forensic Medicine, Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association will make a statement.

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