During the weeks preceeding the Habitat II summit, and now during th e conference, Turkish police have conducted a campaign of harassment against Istanbul's transvestite and transsexual community. Lambda, a gay organization in Istanbul, has received reports that police are preventing transvestites and transsexuals from leaving or entering their homes. Many are in hiding, staying with friends, or entering and leaving their homes in secret, unable to use their lights and pretending to be absent.

Lambda has learned that several transvestites and transsexuals have been beaten or arrested, and their housing damaged. One eye-witness report described the police setting fire to the units of a well-known transsexual.

As a result of this harassment, transvestites and transsexuals are living in fear, unable to live in their homes, unable to work and unable to earn a living.

While the world debates the future of cities and human settlements at the Habitat II conference, some members of the host city are being forced out oftheir homes and communities, and deprived of their human rights.

Lambda, Istanbul and ILGA call for this unacceptable and contradictory behavior to STOP! We ask that member organizations and concerned individuals join us in demanding that this situation be investigated, that Turkish authorities must ensure that the police do not abuse their powers, that the harassment of transvestites and transsexuals stop.


This page is maintained by Lambda, Istanbul