26/06/2023 | Writer: Selma Koçak

Mustafa Fidan, who slaughtered 22-year-old sex worker trans woman Ecem Seçkin, made a defense by rote in order to benefit from a reduction in penalty. The Court rejected the murderer’s lawyer’s request for retaking a mental health report.

Ecem Seçkin case was postponed to September 29th Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Gathering in front of the İzmir Bayraklı Courthouse, LGBTI+ activists from Young LGBTI+ Association and Colors of Resistance made a press statement before the trial begins (Photograph: Berkcan Zengin).

The first days of 2023 had witnessed the murder of a trans woman. Ecem Seçkin, a sex worker trans woman living in Alsancak (Bornova Street), İzmir, was murdered by her client. Following the murder, Mustafa Fidan was arrested as a defendant on January 5. The first trial of the case was heard at the İzmir 17th Heavy Penal Court, on June 16th.

The autopsy report had revealed 31 stab wounds, 8 of which were fatal. According to the indictment, Mustafa Fidan had gone to Ecem’s house with three knives!

In the first trial of the case, the murderer Mustafa Fidan claimed that the black gloves found in his pockets didn’t belong to him and he carried a knife due to working as a deliverer. The murderer also claimed that he didn’t tell this before, within the scope his testimonies at the police station, at the prosecutor’s office and within the context of interrogation at the criminal court of peace since he was “ashamed" and he defended himself with defense known by rote, which is usually witnessed in the trials following the murders of trans women: He insisted that he didn’t know Ecem wasn’t a woman while he was going to her home and she “put the mouth on his masculinity”.

Ecem’s family and her lawyers stated that Mustafa Fidan’a allegations were a defense known by rote.

His lawyer requested the court for a new report on Mustafa Fidan’s mental health. The court rejected the request since the previous reports taken from Atatürk Training and Research Hospital and Manisa Mental and Nervous Diseases Hospital stated that Mustafa Fidan’s anxiety disorder didn’t prevent him from understanding the legal consequences of the crime he committed.

The court ruled to hear the witness and to examine Ecem’s phone and continuation of detention for Mustafa Fidan at end of the hearing. Next trial will be heard on Friday, September 29 (2023) at 15:00.

“We are followers of the case until justice will prevail for Ecem Seçkin”

Gathering in front of the İzmir Bayraklı Courthouse, LGBTI+ right defenders from Young LGBTI+ Association and Colors of Resistance wanted to make e a press statement before the trial begins. The police prevented them from unfurling flag and chanting slogans.

LGBTI+ right defenders noted the followings in the joint-statement:

“As is known, there has been many hate attacks, especially against trans women, in various parts of İzmir, particularly in Alsancak, as a result of ever-increasing hate speech, targeting and intimidation policies against LGBTI+s in recent years. As LGBTI+ associations, we have repeatedly stated that preventive policies and effective investigations are not carried out against hate attacks and that LGBTI+s’ life safety isn’t ensured and we have called authorities to duty many times. Far from heeding our calls, trans women’s living spaces have been restricted under color of ‘security’ by using violence through law enforcement force, and being exposed to violence has constantly surged.

22-year-old trans woman sex worker Ecem Seçkin, who was living in İzmir Alsancak, passed away as a result of being assaulted by her client with a knife brutally at her own residence during the night hours on January 5, 2023. The perpetrator M. F., who tortured Ecem’s body and killed her as a result of a hate motivated murder, also stole Ecem’s belongings and attacked another trans woman, her neighbor, who witnessed the incident while the killer was running out of her house. İzmir Chief Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit against the arrested defendant with the demand to be sentenced for intentional killing with premeditation, brutally or through torment in order to conceal an offense, destroy evidence, facilitate the commission of another offense or prevent the apprehension, carrying an unlicensed knife and qualified robbery with the use of a weapon, in residence, at night.

We overtly object to all this process, in which the hate policy and hate speech that have been constantly increasing especially in the last three years and have reached its highest point during the election process, targeting LGBTI+s. Adopting hate policies via pointing LGBTI+s as a target and via preventing all kinds of activities during Pride Month, in which LGBTI+s celebrate their existence and exercise their rights arising from being human since the beginning of June, returns exponentially as all kinds of discrimination, poverty and violence to all social groups, particularly LGBTI+s, who are intimidated by male violence! We don’t admit it. Against all the odds, we underline once again that we will always be here to shout that hate murders and hate crimes against trans people are political and to expose the perpetrators of these crimes and to struggle for the fundamental rights and life safety of LGBTI+s. We announce that we will follow the case until justice will prevail for Ecem Seçkin and that we will continue to fight till justice is established for all transgender people and LGBTI+ community.

We shout once again from here: Trans murders are political! Ecem Seçkin is our rebellion!

Get used to it, reunite with us, we are here and we don’t go anywhere.” 

Tags: human rights, women