Athens 6 August, 2013
Subject: «Murders of transgender women in Turkey and unacceptable behavior of the diplomatic Embassy of Turkey in Athens».
The Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A), a legal entity fighting for the rights of transgender people, unequivocally condemns the violent attacks and murders of trangender women in Turkey and stands by the side of the transgender community in Turkey.
We declare our grief and outrage, for the violent assaults and murders of trans women in Turkey. As it has been known three murders of trans woman have been recorded, only in July 2013, a trans woman’s suicide, and at least five violent hate attacks against transgender women.
Only within the last seven months they have been recorded five murders against trans women, while Turkey is within the first ten countries in the world in violent killings and hate crimes against trans people, as shown by surveys. Moreover, past experience shows that the necessary steps in solving the murders are never followed, while only in a few cases the killers are brought in justice and prosecuted.
The Greek Transgender Support Association expressed its solidarity taking the initiative to send a letter to the Turkish Embassy in Athens, which you can read here: transgendersupportassociation.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/letter-embassy-turkey-en.doc.
Indeed in the morning of Friday 08/02/2013, a member of G.T.S.A went to the Embassy of Turkey to deliver the letter. At the entrance, the letter was read by a member of the diplomatic staff of the Embassy that denied her to enter at the first place.
After the insistence of our member, who phoned Marina Galanou, President of G.T.S.A, and informed her accordingly. Mr. Galanou immediately contacted the Embassy and they promised to allow our member to enter and deliver the letter. Unfortunately, despite the promise, entrance was denied to our member, but she was asked to deliver the letter and they would hand it to the Ambassador. The member asked them for a protocol number that would certify that the letter was delivered and she was told to wait for five minutes at the Embassy’s entrance. After about twenty minutes the member of the diplomatic staff came back and handed back the letter to our member, stating that the letter could not be accepted. The whole attitude of the Embassy’s representatives was completely derogatory and unacceptable first, because they realized what the contents of the letter were and second, because they saw that they were dealing with a trans woman.
The behaviour of the Turkish Embassy staff in Athens is not only unethical and unacceptable, but their attitude to refuse a letter of complaint from a legal entity about a purely humanitarian issue clearly shows that what they care of is to mask the hate crimes that are committed against a minority that is deprived of its basic rights, and their disregard for any notion of human rights.
The Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A.), stands by the side of the trans community in Turkey, supports all their efforts, and strongly objects the unacceptable attitude shown by the members of the diplomatic corps of the Embassy of Turkey in Athens.
G.T.S.A. is urging the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take all necessary measures and to intervene in the international fora about what is happening in our neighbouring country, so as Turkey:
– Urge the police authorities to thoroughly investigate all killings of trans women in Turkey and the prosecution of the killers.
– Harmonize its legislation, according to the resolutions of the Council of Europe by immediately enacting laws on hate crimes that will include gender identity and will protect the hate crime victims.
– Initiate investigation procedures for the unethical and unacceptable behaviour of the diplomatic corps against a human rights organization recognized by the Greek state.
Turkey, as a country of the Council of Europe and a candidate member state of the European Union has an obligation to respect the the International Laws and Conventions it has signed, which call for the protection of life, honor and dignity of transgender people.
We declare for one more time our solidarity and support to the transgender community in Turkey, and we stand by their side with all of our heart.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Greek Transgender Support Association
Zan Moreas 17, Koukaki, Athens, 11741, Greece