Turkey Man Kills Trans GF, Family Disavows Her Gender

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Tuesday February 25, 2014

A Turkish man admitted to killing his 29-year-old transgender girlfriend and burying her in vineyard where he worked before stealing her valuables and fleeing to Serbia.

In a recent article in Gay Star News, Ethem Orhan admitted to shooting Sevdar Ba?ar on February 24 with a hunting rifle before burying her. Orhan said that he had promised her a marriage and a future together -- but neglected to let her know that he was already married.

To add insult to injury, although Ba?ar had received her pink identity card recognizing her as a woman six weeks ago, local authorities and the victim's family refused to recognize her gender identity.

LGBT rights group Kaos GL reported that transgender individuals were not permitted to attend the funeral, telling them, "Our son has died in a car accident."

The parents also disregarded her gender identity while preparing her body for burial, they said.

"Her body was washed in a male ghusl [where they prepare the bodies of the deceased], disregarding her gender identity," said Kaos GL in a statement.

Ba?ar's friends and local activists took matters into their own hands, holding their own tribute where they gave her the respect she deserved. Antep's main LGBT rights organization, ZeugMadi LGBT, released a statement at the Yesilsu Park.

"Hate crimes are increasing every day and we do not want to sacrifice any more of our friends to this hatred. While any form of punishment cannot bring back our friends, transphobic attacks and murders must be punished," read the statement. "In schools, on the streets, on television, there are people everywhere who hate homosexuals and trans people. It should be known gay and trans people are in every area of life. We are here, get used to it."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.