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Transsexuals call for improved rights

BURSA - Doğan News Agency | 3/29/2010 12:00:00 AM | IŞIL ARSLAN-HÜSEYİN TÜCCAR

An LGBT association in Bursa has called on the government to start an initiative to institutionally secure the rights of transvestites and transsexuals.

A lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, association in the western province of Bursa has called on the government to start an initiative to institutionally secure the rights of members of this marginalized group.

Öykü Evren, the head of the Bursa-based association known as Rainbow, which works to protect the LGBT community and improve its solidarity and cultural activities, said that members face very hard living conditions, the Doğan news agency reported Sunday.

“We want an initiative to include transvestites and transsexuals. We want our legal rights,” Evren said, noting the previous government initiatives to increase the rights of Kurds and Roma people living in Turkey. “We don’t want to be alienated. We want to live humanely in this society. We want the government to back our movement.”

Evren, who is a transsexual, said transsexuals and transvestites in Turkey are often left with no choice but to fall into prostitution. As a holder of a female identity card, Evren said, she cannot find a job.

“The transvestites and transsexuals who are pushed by society into prostitution should be reintroduced as part of society with a project opening up employment opportunities in other sectors,” said Evren, who asked for help and support for her efforts to start a handicrafts course.

“We are not plague-stricken. Why don’t we have any other choice but prostitution?” Evren asked. “We need support.”

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