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In the latest reports of horrific violence against LGBT people in Turkey, a young trans woman has been murdered and set on fire. 

The badly burned body of Hande Kader, who went missing last week, has been discovered in a middle-class neighbourhood in Istanbul.

According to LGBTI News Turkey,  after friends filed a missing person’s report, police initiated a search and found a body near Zekeriyakoy.

Kader’s boyfriend gave authorities a detailed description that helped identify the body, but her burial has been put on hold until her family has been notified.

According to the group Transgender Europe, 39 transgender people have been murdered in the past seven years, making Turkey the most dangerous country in Europe to be transgender.

Violence against LGBT people in Turkey has been on the rise, both in numbers and brutality. Earlier this month, a gay refugee from Syria was found decapitated in Istanbul. The victim, Wisam Sankari, was so badly mutilated that his friends could only identify him by the trousers he was wearing.

His relatives say they have little hope that police investigation will bring killers to justice.


Historically the gay pride parade in Istanbul – a city seen as a relative haven by members of the gay community from elsewhere in the Middle East – has been a peaceful event.

But last year police used teargas and water cannon to disperse participants, after organisers said they had been refused permission because it coincided with the holy month of Ramadan. Officials this year ordered that the capital’s Pride parade be cancelled citing safety fears.

While homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, unlike many other Muslim countries, homophobia remains widespread.

The LGBT rights group, Kaos GL, say there has been a rise in human rights violations based on sexual orientation in recent years. Under the heading “hate crimes” the organisation recorded five murders, 32 attacks and three suicides in Turkey last year. It believes the number of such murders over the past six years is more than 50.


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