by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Recent murders of two transgender women in Turkey highlight an ongoing pattern of violence and the urgent need for government intervention, four human rights organizations said Feb. 22 in a letter to Turkish authorities.
The groups Pembe Hayat (Pink Life); Human Rights Watch; European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association; and International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission urged Turkish officials to launch educational programs, pass anti-discrimination laws, repeal laws used by police to harass LGBT people, and create communication channels between police departments and LGBT communities.
“Protecting people and preventing violence means more than investigating after the fact,” said HRW researcher Juliana Cano Nieto. “Without meaningful government action to affirm their rights and ensure their safety, transgender people in Turkey will continue to live in fear.”
Since November 2008, at least eight transgender people have been murdered in Istanbul and Ankara. The most recent victim was Aycan Yener, who was stabbed 17 times Feb. 16 in her apartment in Istanbul’s Fatih neighborhood.