Trans women assisting man with seizure, get assaulted, robbed, and stones hurled at their homes in İzmir, Turkey

While aiding a man experiencing a seizure, transgender women in İzmir’s Bornova Street were assaulted, robbed, and stones thrown at their residences by a group of individuals on April 10. Human rights groups have condemned the incident.

Photo: Gazete Duvar

Duvar English

A group of individuals targeted transgender women while they were aiding a man experiencing a seizure on Bornova Street in İzmir on April 10.

One transgender woman was assaulted and robbed of her wallet and phone during the attack, a trans woman told Gazete Duvar.

Subsequently, the group started hurling stones at transgender women’s residences, security camera footage shows.

Authorities have confirmed to investigate the matter.

Bornova Street has long been home to trans women in İzmir and has witnessed numerous attacks over the years, including by neighborhood watchmen.

The assault on April 10 night unfolded as a man suffered an epileptic seizure while the transgender women were in front of their houses, one transgender woman told Duvar. When they rushed out to help, a group of people began insulting and assaulting them.

"They slandered and attacked us, saying, ‘you beat this man.’ They started throwing stones at our houses. They threw stones, bottles, sticks, whatever they found," she said, adding that the group also assaulted their friend Açelya, who arrived from a nearby hairdresser.

“When they saw her, they attacked her. She tried to escape, but they caught her, beat her, and mugged her,” she said, noting that there is video evidence of the incident and a complaint has been filed.

Human rights and LGBTI+ rights organizations have severely condemned the incident.

"The attack on trans people in İzmir’s Alsancak is a result of the state’s hate speech. For a long time, the threat of eviction of the trans people’s living and working spaces in Alsancak has resulted in an unsafe working environment," The Human Rights Association’s LGBTI+ Rights Commission wrote on Twitter following the incident.

LGBTI+ rights in Turkey have been under severe pressure in recent years, with the country currently rated as second-worst in Europe for LGBTI+ rights, according to the Rainbow Index.

Bayram Street in Istanbul, also home to many transwomen, has recently been cordoned off, with events in the street resulting in detentions.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been frequently referring to LGBTI+ individuals as “perverts,” “deviants,” and “viruses.”

(English version by Wouter Massink)