RIGHTS >Turkish court fines hamam owner for denying entry of transgender woman

İsmail SaymazISTANBUL

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A Turkish court has ruled that the owner of a hamam, Turkish bath, in Istanbul is to pay 3,000 Turkish Liras for discriminating against a transgender woman by denying her entry.

İpek Kırancı, a transgender woman, went to Galatasaray Hamamı with her friend Helga Maria Margereta Binder on Dec. 26, 2013. Ahmet Karagüney, the owner of the hamam, refused to take her in. Kırancı showed her ID card, on which woman is written, but her request to enter was not accepted. Karagüney allegedly told Kırancı, “We do not accept dönme [a slang word used for transgender people], go to your own hamam. We will allow your friend [Binder] to enter, but you cannot.” Eren Keskin, Kırancı’s lawyer, filed a complaint to the court for the violation of the Turkish Penal Codes’ 122th Article, which considers “discrimination against people based on language, religion, gender, color, political thought, philosophical belief, sect or alike.”

Keskin said it is the first time in Turkey that the violation of a transgender person’s right was penalized with Article 122. “If the supreme court of appeals also approves the local court’s decision, then this could be an exemplary decision for LGBTI individuals. They will feel safer,” said Keskin.

Judge Gönül Doğan gave a punitive fine of 150 days and set at 3,000 liras.


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