Kıvılcım Arat, a Turkish LGBT activist, is entering the third day of a hunger strike to expose human rights violations committed against Diren Coşkun, a transgender woman who has been held in pre-trial detention in Tekirdağ prison.
According to the T24 news portal, Coşkun launched a hunger strike after she was denied surgery by the Tekirdağ prison management on Jan 25. Arat, who is a member of Lambdaistanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association, has joined the hunger strike on Monday.
LGBT groups in Turkey seem to be having difficult times due to ever-increasing political pressure.
Early in June, the İstanbul Governor’s Office banned an LGBTI pride parade scheduled to take place in Taksim on June 25, citing security and public order concerns.
“The application for the parade was not properly submitted to our office in accordance with Law 2911. There is also serious criticism of this parade from various segments of society on social media,” said the statement issued by the governor’s office.
“In line with our assessment, and taking into consideration the safety of residents and tourists in the area as well as public order, it will not be permitted to hold the parade or to gather and protest on that day, before that day or after that day.”
The ban came days after the Alperen Ocakları, an offshoot of Turkish nationalist movement the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), announced that they would not allow LGBTI members to hold the pride parade.
“Even if the government permits it, we will not let them walk,” said Kürşat Mican, Istanbul head of Alperen Ocakları during a program on KRT TV.
“Wherever they walk, we will go there and block the street. They can come there,” added Mican, who stood trial for threats against LGBTI members ahead of the pride parade last year.