Transgender Sex Worker and Activist Murdered in Turkey

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Author: 
European Regional Correspondent

Violent attacks against transgender people in Turkey continue unabated.

Hande Kader, a 23-year-old transgender woman based in Istanbul, disappeared a little over one week ago.

Her friends and partner filed a missing person’s report. Hande Kader’s burned and mutilated body was found in Zekeriyaköy by the side of the road, reported the LGBTI News Turkey.

Hande Kader was last seen getting in the car of a potential client about a week ago and has not been heard from since. Her friends and partner then reported Hande’s disappearance to the police.

Following the report, police initiated a search and rescue. During the operation, they found a burned body near Zekeriyakoy.

Hande’s partner D. mentioned that Hande was wearing prosthetics which helped identify her body.

It is the latest in a series of hate crimes in Turkey shocking the LGBT and international community.

Kader was politically active and had been photographed participating in protests and demonstrations for LGBT rights. She had reportedly been arrested for doing so on at least one occasion.

This terrifying crime follows a series of similar crimes against transgender people in Turkey.

Muhammed Wisam Sankari was a gay Syrian refugee. He had arrived in Istanbul a year ago. He was threatened, kidnapped, and raped. On the 23rd of July 2016 he was found dead in Yenikapi and was stabbed multiple times. His body was so badly mutilated that he was only identifiable by the clothes he was wearing.

On the 6th of August 2016 two assailants in Mersin’s Pozcu district attacked a transgender woman with a knife and iron rod. It was learned that the police did not take action regarding the two people who attacked the trans woman saying “we’re going to kill all of you.”

NSWP released a statement condemning violent attacks on transgender sex workers in Turkey.

Although Turkey is traditionally seen as one of the most tolerant countries in the region, a recent poll by PEW Research Centre showed that almost 80 percent of Turks believe homosexuality is "morally unacceptable".

According to a Transgender Europe report, Turkey is the first in Europe and ninth in the world in trans murders.

“Trans women are forced to be sex workers and then they are labeled (as prostitutes) because of their jobs. We wish a world without homophobia, transphobia or ‘prostitute-phobia’”, writes LGBTI News Turkey.