Turkey – Honour killings of LGBTI continue as courts remain lenient

Published: October 17, 2011

The problem of honour killings of LGBTIs in Turkey has been highlighted by the murder of a 24-year-old transsexual woman who was allegedly murdered by her older brother who believed she had shamed their family.

Ramazan Çetin was in hospital being treated for a leg problem when Fevzi Çetin allegedly murdered her.

“I have cleaned my honour,” he told police.

Hate crimes specialist lawyer Fatih Söyle said Turkish courts were too lenient in such matters.

“I was at the court the other day and I saw that two murderers who caused a homosexual and a transsexual to die were sentenced to 13 and 25 years respectively,” Söyle said.
“They were first sentenced to life in prison, but the court lowered it for their good manners in court.”

Turkish LGBTI rights group KAOS GL said the problem was exacerbated by discriminatory laws.

“Unfortunately even the laws that support people with different sexual identities are not tolerated,” KAOS GL spokesman Ali Erol said.

Gay and bisexual men are banned from serving in the military which defines homosexuality as a “psychosexual illness”, and there are no anti-discrimination laws protecting sexual or gender minorities in Turkey.

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