The onslaught of violence against trans women in Turkey has shown no sign of abating with the tragic news that another was murdered this week.
Seçil Anne, a trans sex worker, was murdered where she lived in Antalya on the southwestern coast of Turkey on Tuesday night (10 July). She was found dead at her home at 11pm by police after her friends alerted them when they couldn't reach her. Her throat had been slit and face slashed.
Turkish trans activist Kemal Ordek said that dozens of trans people gathered outside Secil Anne’s apartment after hearing of her murder.
The local police said they had started an investigation and were checking CCTV cameras near Secil Anne’s home and interviewing her ex-boyfriend and close friends.
In June around 100 residents gathered in Altındağ in Antalya to protest the presence of transgender sex workers in their neighborhood. They warned that they would get violent if the police did not resolve the problem. It is not know if Seçil Anne, born Neşe Dilşeker in 1966, lived in this area.
The circumstances of Secil Anne’s murder are almost identical to that of Derya Y, a transgender women who was stabbed to death in Altındağ in February 2010.
The Trans Murder Monitoring project shows that Turkey has by far the most reported murders of trans people in Europe, with 23 reported from January 2008 until December 2011.
An anonymous blog post on the alarming situation in Turkey said this week that the murders are ‘only the tip of the iceberg’. The post published on the Birds of Paradox blog said:
‘While this violence is to be condemned in the strongest possible terms… As well as the reported murders, many other hate crimes against transgender people (transphobic crimes) go unreported, ranging from verbal abuse in the street and the workplace through muggings, beatings and rape.
'Perhaps worst of all is the attitude of many government agencies, many of which seem unconcerned at the extent of transphobic crimes. This has the result of enabling the rates of these crimes to escalate, because they send the message to the general population that it’s acceptable to display such prejudices – even against members of the authorities themselves.’
In April transgender woman Michelle Demishevich was attacked in an incident that she believes was to intimidate her into not testifying at a trial over an earlier attack.