In a horrific incident, the charred body of a young transgender missing since last week has been found by the side of a road in Istanbul, Turkey. This shocking crime is the latest in a series of hate crimes in Turkey and has sparked international outrage.
Sex worker Hande Kader was last seen getting into a client’s car, and when she did not return after a week, her partner filed a missing persons’ report. The badly mutilated and burnt body was identified by prosthetic at the city morgue.
Kader, was a politically active person who had been photographed participating in protests and demonstrations for LGBT rights and was reportedly was also arrested on one such occasion. The entire social media is outraged at this incident as it comes in less than a week after the murder and decapitation of a gay Syrian refugee.
Kader’s friends took to Facebook in anger following the news of her death with one of them claiming that the “common mongrels” who had carried out the attack will one day “pay the price”.
Earlier this week Muhammed Wisam Sankari was found dead after he was raped and beheaded, miles away from where Kader’s body was found. He had settled in Istanbul after fleeing conflict in Syria. Interestingly, Sankari was also politically active and his body was so badly mutilated that he was only identifiable by the clothes he was wearing.
Even though Istanbul has been a safe haven for those fleeing war and conflict from Syria and Iraq, the recent attacks on LGBT community put a question mark on the city’s security. The series of hate crime against this community have intensified in last few months and last month too in the city of Mersin, a trans woman survived an attack by knife-wielding thugs.
Although Turkey is traditionally seen as one of the most tolerant countries in the region, a recent poll by PEW Research Centre showed that almost 80% of Turks believe homosexuality is “morally unacceptable”.
Following her cold-blooded murder, LGBT rights campaigners and supporters have been paying tribute to her. On Twitter her name was trending after thousands of people tweeted the hashtag #HandeKadereSesVer (Give voice to Hande Kader) and on Facebook people set up memorial pages for her.