Turks Come Out In Support Of Trans Activist Raped And Burned To Death

Sameera Ehteram
Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, but gender reassignment surgery and sterilization for transgender people are mandatory.




After days of mourning her death and calling out the injustice of it online, hundreds of Turkish men and women took to the streets of Istanbul holding photographs of Hande Kader and signs reading "Justice for Hande; Justice for Everyone."

LGBT activists, joined by some opposition Parliament members, spoke out against the hate crime as well.

The 23-year-old sex worker and LGBT rights activist was found dead on Aug. 12. She was raped and burned beyond recognition.

She was last seen entering a client's car. When she didn't return, her friend and flatmate Davut Dengiler went looking for her and eventually found her in a morgue among unidentified bodies days later.

Attacks on the LGBT community are not uncommon in Turkey. It’s not just the religious fundamentalists who are after them, but even far right groups like the Alperen Hearths as well, which declared, “We are not responsible for what will happen beyond this point,” at a press conference recently, adding, “Degenerates will not be allowed to carry out their fantasies on this land.”


Kader was often at the receiving end of a lot of aggression and threats but it never stopped her.

"She would go crazy when trans individuals were killed,"  Dengiler said. "She'd be so sad... She had been stabbed and beaten before. This didn't happen only to Hande. It happens to all of them."


But her death only continues the fight she so bravely and relentlessly carried on in her life. A union of activists has called upon on the Turkish Parliament to demand do more to uphold transgender rights.

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