Istanbul Police arrest 17 transgenders victims of prostitution amid criticism and protests
ISTANBUL - Radikal
A demonstration was organized in Beyoğlu against the raid. The demonstrators claimed that police aimed to forcedly move out the transgender population from the neighborhood. DHA photoFollowing a raid by police forces 17 transgenders were arrested in Istanbul’s central Beyoğlu district for suspicion of prostitution, daily Radikal reported March 9. Police raided three buildings, first pretending to be customers before breaking down doors to get inside, Social Policy and Gender Identity Legal Office lawyer Levent Pişkin said.
Pişkin criticized the raid as a way of forcing the transgender community to move out of the neighborhood. “At the police station, a transgender detainee told officers they were victims of prostitution. So the officers have broken down the victims' door. This is intended to force them into exile under the label of urban renewal,” Pişkin said.
The Beyoğlu police department has said the incident was merely judicial. “We have carried out the prosecutor’s order. They resisted opening the door,” officials told Radikal.
Meanwhile, a demonstration was organized in Beyoğlu against the raid.