Trans activists rally in Turkey's Izmir amid rising attacks

Trans activists rally in Turkey's Izmir amid rising attacks
A rise in violent attacks on the trans community in Turkey over recent months prompted Friday's protest.
2 min read
28 January, 2022
The protest has been prompted by rising attacks on the trans community in Turkey [Getty]

LGBT+ and human rights organisations will rally on Friday in the western Turkish city of Izmir to protest a recent rise in murders and attacks on trans women.

According to Kaos GL, an activist news network and one of Turkey’s oldest queer rights groups, protesters will meet under the banner “Our trans lives are valuable” in the centre of Izmir in order to raise awareness for the embattled trans community.

Izmir province has been at the centre of a rise in violence targeting LGBT+ citizens in recent months. According to local Turkish news site Bianet, two trans women have been killed in three months, while three trans women were seriously injured during hate attacks in the same period.

Most recently, in a shocking attack on sex workers in Izmir, a group of four men identified and attacked transgender individuals using sticks with nails embedded in them.

In November 2021, a man killed a trans woman known as Barak in front of the Basmane train station in central Izmir. Earlier that week, the same man attacked and severely injured two trans women in separate incidents.

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In an increasingly hostile environment for queer communities and incendiary rhetoric from Turkish politicians, the country continues to languish at the bottom of LGBT rights index published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Last year, Turkey was ranked 48th out of the 49 countries in the Eurasia region by the ILGA for the second year running.

According to rights groups, violence and attacls against the trans community tend to go uninvestigated and unpunished, and years of vocal attacks on the LGBT community from the political establishment in Turkey have contributed to a culture of impunity.