Islamist groups attempted to assault trans woman Selin Ciğerci in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, her hometown, during her beauty center’s opening on March 12.
When Ciğerci announced on social media that she would open a branch of her beauty center in Konya, she faced threats from many people. Several people conducted hate speech and wrote on Twitter, “We don't want Selin Ciğerci in Konya.”
Ciğerci posted a video with regards to the assaults on social media, saying such reactions saddened her. In the video, she stated that she and her family are very happy that she will open a business in her hometown and create employment for the women there.
Despite facing threats, Ciğerci yet went to Konya's Meram district on March 12 for the opening. During the opening ceremony, a crowded group gathered on the street and chanted slogans such as takbir ("Allah is the greatest!") and "Get out of Konya."
The group continued their reaction with slogans for a long time, and when they tried to march toward the beauty center, the police intervened. Nonetheless, the police did not disperse the group despite the explicit threats.
After the opening, the salon was closed for security reasons.
The Turkish state has a long history of anti-LGBTİ+ stance, but attacks against the community have increased under the reign of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, especially after 2015. In recent years, many high bureaucrats, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeted the LGBTI+ population in the country.
In 2022, the AKP government presented a constitutional amendment proposal in parliament under the pretext of “protecting the family,” targeting LGBTI+ people by calling them “perverts.”