Reactions against the murder of transgender woman Hande Kande in İstanbul, through mutilation and burning, continue! İstanbul LGBTİ Solidarity Association has announced that it will hold a march in Taksim for Hande Kader on Sunday, August 21st. Having started a campaign on social media, titled ‘Give voice to Hande Kader’, LGBT groups stated that keeping silent in Hande’s murder stands same as being a part of the crime.
Meanwhile, meeting and talking with the LGBT members at a press briefing in the Parliament, CHP MP Selina Doğan suggested that ‘gender mainstreaming’ must become a required course at schools.
Activist Tar: ‘The needed reaction has not been given’
Noting that the public has not demonstrated the necessary reaction to the murder of Hande Kader, the editor of Kaos GL and LGBT activist Yıldız Tar gave the following remarks: “We haven’t seen a significant reaction and a societal opposition with regards to this case so far. Most of the time, in hate crimes, not only the person shooting, stabbing, or burning but also the sections of the society that remain silent and give approval to the incidents also leave way for these crimes to take place. Not doing anything is actually also being a part of the crime. There is a massive crowd that remain silent and turn away from these murderers and perpetrators of hate crimes. And, what makes these crimes possible is indeed this silence, which, in a way, turns into a part of the crime."
'The reason for the silence is the fact that Hande was a transgender woman'
Highlighting that the reason for the silence is because of Hande’s transgender identity, Tar added: “There are acceptable grounds for being both a woman and a man. For example, if you are a gay man, you are not considered acceptable. If you are a trans woman, you are not acceptable, either. So, I think of this lack of reaction as being due to Hande’s transgender identity. Prejudices and discrimination have been rooted and spread out in such an extent that it causes people to become unable to say a word about someone who has been killed in such brutality.”
A request for a righteous and just stand
Tar also expressed that they expect a righteous and just approach, adding: “This question must be asked: what had Hande lived until she was slaughtered brutally at the age of 23? This question and its underlying implications must be thought about so that we can understand other transgender women. So, it is very important for this Sunday’s march to be attended widely. If people go out to streets for Hande; for other killed transgender women; and for homosexuals, it might enable other Handes to live on.”
Advocate Çelebi: 'Transgender individuals are faced with discrimination excessively'
Pointing out that transgender individuals are faced with discrimination excessively, SPoD (Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Research Association) board of directors member Emirhan Deniz Çelebi said, “Even if I stand off from all of my identities, these kinds of cases give me great discomfort. I am a trans man and I carry a pink ID card. I’m studying at graduate school at the moment, and, I have applied to Loans and Dormitories Institution. I am a child of a veteran, and, normally, the state should give me the privilege of right of housing. So, I am really curious about how the Institution will approach this and what I will experience later on, considering that I am a trans man.”
It’s the lack of policies of the state that enables the killings
Criticizing the state’s lack of policies with regards to the LGBT individuals, Çelebi further explained, “Whenever we are discriminated against or faced with murders, we talk about how the state lacks a policy in this regard. Many days have passed, and, there is still no word about her murderers. And, it is not just Hande; this has been like this with all previous discrimination cases as well. No step has been taken; nothing has been done! And, what underlies the transphobia of the members of the society is actually this insistence of the state on lack of policies.”
‘Yes, crimes against trans people are political!’
Describing LGBT individuals as the abandoned groups of the society, Çelebi said: “And, we also say this every time: ‘Murders of trans individuals are political’. They are political because I am not considered a citizen under state’s policies. When I’m discriminated against, nothing is done; and, I can’t refer to any institution. If Hande’s murderers are found and tried just as the murderers of Özgecan, then, our belief can berisen a little, and, it might enable us to present our requests without fear.”
Call for a march for Hande Kader
İstanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association has made a call to a march to be held in Taksim on August 21st for Hande Kader. Titling its announcement as ‘Justice for Hande Kader; justice for all’ and calling on people to join, the association informed the public that they will meet at İstiklal Tunnel at 19:00 and march to Galatasaray Square on İstiklal Street.
We need a law
CHP MPs Selina Doğan and Zeynep Altıok met with Hander Kader’s friends and the representatives of the LGBT groups at the Parliament, in a press briefing. During the meeting, the lack of constitutional protection with regards to violence and discrimination against and murders of LGBT individuals was highlighted. It was requested by the groups that expressions of sexual orientation and sexual identity must be added into the clause of the Constitution about equality and that protective laws must be passed with regards to hate crimes.
An investigation commission must be formed
CHP Tekirdağ MP Candan Yüceer and her friends have expressed the need for a creation of an investigation commission at the Parliament in order to address the discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT individuals, proposing in their resolution that ‘while each citizen’s life must be protected by the state, the violations of rights of LGBT individuals are overlooked by the state.”
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