Former soldier dies after sex change surgery in Antalya
ISTANBULA Turkish transsexual woman, who was a soldier before living as a woman, died following gender reassignment surgery in a hospital in the southern province of Antalya on Jan. 20, according to reports.
Doğa Asi Çevik died in an Antalya hospital after the reassignment surgery, daily Milliyet reported on Jan. 22. Trained as a soldier, the 35-year-old Çevik had been employed as a noncommissioned officer but left her career behind after deciding to live as a transsexual woman.
She founded a LGBTI association, the Trans Solidarity Center Association (T-Der), and worked to support other LGBTI people as an activist until her surgery.
The woman’s friends have demanded that the authorities conduct an autopsy after noting that it was the first time the doctor in question, Mehmet Emin Soysal, had ever performed a sex reassignment surgery, daily Hürriyet reported.
The cause of death is expected to be released after a forensic report.
Çevik was one of the women whose experiences as a transsexual woman in Turkish society were published in a book titled “Dönmelere Doyamadık” (We Cannot Get Enough of Transsexuals).
“I attended military school after high school. There was a very masculine atmosphere; I had a hard time as a woman there. In my professional life, I always acted [as a man]. I was a commander in the unit at the age of 18. They were expecting me to be a tough man,” Çevik said in the book about her life before becoming an activist.
She also said she had remained successful in her position in the gendarmerie command, working mostly on traffic accidents or murder cases.
“I won awards. But despite being successful in my job, everything went away when I told them that I was a transsexual woman,” Çevik said about her story of how she had to leave her career and profession behind due to her sexual orientation.
Turkish military bans the recruitment of any LGBTI personnel, while members of the community are also exempted from compulsory military service.
She said she dropped out of university many times but had only one course left at the time of the interview.
“I have not passed this course on purpose. I do not want my diploma to say ‘male’ on it. So I will wait until I can change my gender on my ID card and then I will pass this course and get my diploma,” she said in the book.