Istanbul's homeless protest being removed after Sierra murder
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
A group of homeless people staged a protest in Istanbul’s central square of Taksim. DHA photoA nongovernmental organization has protested homeless people’s eviction from the ancient city walls after a New York woman was found dead in the area.
A group of homeless people and the head of Şefkat-Der (Compassion Association), Hayrettin Bulan, staged a protest in Istanbul’s central square of Taksim yesterday.
“In reality, homeless people are being raped and abused, they are freezing to death,” the spokesman said in response to claims in the Turkish press that Sarai Sierra could have been murdered by homeless people living in the area.
Sierra, 33, was killed by a fatal blow to the head during trip to Istanbul and her body was found near the ancient city walls of Istanbul near the Bosphorus, in Sarayburnu’s Cankurtaran neighborhood on Feb. 2.
Bulan also said the Sierra murder gave them great pain but remarks by state officials implicating homeless people as the “potential murderers of her” were also unacceptable.
“There is no homeless woman not raped, even old men are being raped,” he added.
“ATMs, mosques, derelict buildings and even the city walls are closed to homeless people, what are you going to do? Throw the homeless into the sea?” a banner read.
Meanwhile Sierra’s husband, Steven Sierra, said in an interview with Hürriyet Feb. 10 that he had not spoken with his wife since Jan. 14.
“At the beginning we were talking on Skype. I was following the photos she put on Instagram. But times didn’t match because of the time difference. I was working when she is at the hotel [her flat]. The last time I heard from her was 14th of [January]. The next day she called home and spoke to the kids, I was at work that time,” he told the paper.