Forum Progres, the Montenegron LGBT organization, has been recently coordinating a campaign for the LGBT community in Turkey as a symbolic and powerful way of solidarity. The campaign has been aiming to bring visibility especially to the violence targeting the trans community.
The letter prepared by the organization has received great international support and it will be delievered to and read in front of the Turkish Embassy in Montenegro on May 16, 2012, at 11:30. The letter will be delivered also to Turkish Embassies in Italy, Malta, Georgia, Australia and Belarus. The call will be addressing the Ambassador of Turkey to Montenegro Kesoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey Erdoğan and President of Turkey Gül and urging them take the necessary measures to revise Turkish legislations to stop police violence and discrimination against trans people at all levels and in all public spheres.
The letter and the organizations and individuals endorsing the call are listed below:
Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Dear Mr Erdogan,
As we recognize Turkey as a country that tents to be a member of the European Union and respects values of modern democratic society we felt the urge to point out the problems that certain minority groups such as transgender persons facing with.
Discrimination, humiliation, harassment, physical and verbal violence are just some of the situations that LGB and especially T persons are facing with on daily basis. But the most shocking fact is that the transgender persons are being killed on the streets of Turkey just because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
We want to draw your attention on the three last death cases that happened recently:
1. The case of young girl named Tuğçe. She was shot by a bullet and murdered in a car in Karabağlar town in İzmir. She was only 23 years old.
2. The case of transgender person that has been killed in the same week in which Tuğçe was killed. She was stabbed around 40 times to her death. Her name was Nüket.
Even if we are from Montenegro and we do not live in Turkey we sympathize with all of transgender persons who are paying the price of being different!
We would like to emphasize the fact LGB and T are equal member of Turkish society.
In order to make this issue more visible , organizations and individuals from all around the World joined together to write this letter with a purpose of raising awareness of this particular problem.
We want to believe that government of Turkey and yourself will do all that is in your power to prevent any kind of hate speech and violence from happening.
To make this letter more functional we have made the list of approaches that we expect that government of Turkey needs to fulfill in order to make LGBT and especially T persons feel equal part of the Turkish society.
By applying these demands Turkey will be recognized as a country that tends to improve quality of life of all its citizens without exceptions.
We urge Turkish Government to fulfill following requests:
1. Full implementation of Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, revision of the Turkish Law on Domestic Violence fully based on and in parallel of the CoE Convention; including "sexual orientation and gender identity". (Turkey is the first country ratifying the CoE Convention, while after few months enacted a law which doesn't include gender identity and/or expression as one of the grounds for discrimination).
2. Enact the anti-discrimination code which waits for discussion in the parliament through adding the phrase of “sexual orientation and gender identity” as one of the grounds.
3. Prepare and enact hate crimes legislation in collaboration with the civil society circles and adding “sexual orientation and gender identity” as one of the grounds not to be discriminated.
4. As required by OSCE-ODIHR, Turkey should keep the statistics of gender identity-based hate crimes/murders as part of the work of the General Directorate of Security and share it with the public when asked.
5. All laws, which are intentionally used against trans persons like the Law on Misdemeanors, the Traffic Law, Turkish Penal Code, Law on Sex Work, Law on Public Health, etc. should be revised in a way to eliminate all vague terms like "exhibitionism", "obscenity", etc.
6. Existing legislation on "sex work" should be changed in parallel with the demands of all sex worker groups in the country.
7. Establish an employment strategy with full inclusion of transgender persons.
8. Start a program with the aim of training all relevant law-enforcement bodies, like the police and the judiciary, for sensitizing these institutions for the rights of transgender persons.
9. Fully investigate all incidents where police officers used ill-treatment and torture against transgender persons and sentence the perpetrators.
10. Start a public campaign to sensitize the citizens against all forms of violence against transgender persons.
11. Stop the policy of the police of arbitrary arrests and fines against transgender persons who are sex workers.
12. End the police of the judiciary of decreasing the sentences of perpetrators of transgender murders or attackers.
The organizations that support this protest letter are:
LGBT Forum Progress, Montenegro
Center for Civic Education, Montenegro
Roma Scholarship Foundation, Montenegro
Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro, Montenegro
Center for Anti-Discrimination “Equista”, Montenegro
Center for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations, Montenegro
Association PLEGIJE-Niksic, Montenegro
With the support from:
IDAHO Committee - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE)
Kaos GL, Turkey
Gays Without Borders, San Francisco, CA, USA
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, United States
Greek Transgendered Support Association, Greece
Athens Pride, Greece
Greek Helsinki Monitor, Greece
We Are - The University of Malta LGBTQQI Organization, Malta
Gay Belarus, Belarus
Israeli Queers for BDS, Israel
Domine - Split, Cratia
Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute Onlus, Italia
Aleanca LGBT, Albania
Queeria centar, Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade Pride, Serbia
Labris - Lesbian Human Rights Organization, Serbia
STRASS syndicat du travail sexuel, France
Trans-Fuzja Foundation, Poland
The individuals that support this protest letter are:
Zdravko Cimbaljevic, Montenegro
Stevan Milivojevic, Montenegro
Jasmina Kaljić, Montenegro
Ivana Vujovic, Montenegro
Daliborka Uljarevic, Montenegro
Ana Novakovic, Montenegro
Marina Vukovic, Montenegro
Biljana Alkovic, Montenegro
Sasa Mijovic, Montenegro
Luka Katic, Montenegro
Natasa Medjedovic, Montenegro
Jelena Colakovic, Montenegro
Anđa Vukajlović, Montenegro
Sara Radovic, Montenegro
Marina Knezevic, Montenegro
Biljana Bozovic, Montenegro
Milenko Vojičić, Montenegro
Bojana Lakovic, Montenegro
Milica Smolovic, Montenegro
Sasa Miovic, Montenegro
Vojislav Kaludjerovic, Montenegro
Marina Vujačić, Montenegro
Milan Saranovic, Montenegro
Nemanja Bubanja, Montenegro
Milena Kotlaja, Montenegro
Nevin Oztop, Turkey
Kemal Ordek, Turkey
Edlira Mara, Albania
Amarildo Fecanji, Albania
Boban Stojanovic, Serbia
Jovanka Todorovic, Serbia
Janko Jambrosic, Serbia
Dijana Pavlic, Serbia
Aco Tabash, Serbia
Mirjana Kucer, Croatia
Zeljko Blaće, Croatia
Snijezana Matejcic, Croatia
Hana Lilic, Croatia
Nevin Oztop, Turkey
Joel Bedos, Belgium
Daborah Moine, Belgium
Jan Lampaert, Belgium
Panayote Dimitras, Greece
Marina Galanou, Geece
Telis Raptis, Greece
Natallia Mankouskaya, Belarus
Siarhei Androsenka, Belarus
Dr. Uri Bitan, Israel
Yossef(A) Mekyton, Israel
Inaam E., Israel
Mark Mirmelstein, Israel
Joe Hammoud, Lebanon
Jean Salim, Lebanon
Leehee Rothschild, Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Wiktor Dynarski, Poland
Danny Madzhurova, Bulgaria
Robert Fenech, Malta
Luisa Tolu, Malta
Mr. Björn Skolander, Sweden
Ulf Petersson, Sweden
Joe Hawker, United Kingdom
Brenda Towers, United Kingdom
Olaf Moen, Norway
Torill Frøise, Norway
Anita Ketel, Netherlands
Sandra Venema, Netherlands
Khouloud Mahdhaoui, Tunisia
Gabrielle Le Roux, South Africa
Teppo Särkkä, Finland
Cristina Crocco, Italy
Bill C, Germany
Huy Luong, Viet Nam
Adeline Woon, Malaysia
Sumit jamadar, India
Carmine Scinocca, Brazil
Phillipa Watson, Australia
Frank Folino, ON, Canada
Mary Furlong, QC, Canada
David Halperin, MI, USA
John Sanders, CA, USA
Tamara Ching, CA, USA
Michael Deason, CA, USA
Veronika Fimbres, CA, USA
Richard Hollister, AZ, USA
Alison de Saavedra, OH, USA
Nancy Black, MO, USA
Mr. Joe Renneke, MN, USA
Duane Baker, OH, USA
Barbara Vieira, NY, USA
Lydia Price, IL, USA
Kyle Ahlers, MA, USA
Ms. Kathy Johnson, MN, USA
Never Hush, Never Share the Crime!