A refugee transsexual woman who fled Syria due to the country’s civil war was murdered in her house in Istanbul on Dec. 17, the Ankara-based Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL) has reported.
The murder was reportedly described as “transphobic” and “anti-immigrant.”
Sendi, who was working as a sex worker, was allegedly stabbed to death by a client in the Cihangir neighborhood of Istanbul.
Police said an examination of the surveillance cameras nearby the scene revealed no information about any suspect.
The victim’s friends went to a forensic morgue in Yenibosna to receive Sendi’s body but were not permitted to take her remains. The woman’s friends also said Sendi’s body had become unrecognizable.
Kıvılcım Arat, an Istanbul LGBT activist who met with Sendi four days ago before the murder, said the woman had lost her family during the civil war in Syria and was working at a bar near Taksim Square.
“We conducted interviews with over 15 Syrian refugee transsexual women. Sendi was one of them. All Syrian refugee transseuxual women complain about two things: intense police [attention] and ‘societal’ violence.
Refugees in Turkey have not been able to obtain documents due to systematic problems in recent days. The system has collapsed. The main demand of transsexual women is to be legalized,” Arat said.
Arat also said migrant transsexual women especially complained about the people they termed the “red police” – the motorcycle police – saying they are frequently subjected to violence by that unit of the security forces.