On 12 August, the body of LGBTI rights defender Hande Kader was found on the side of a road in the Zekeriyaköy neighborhood of Istanbul. It was determined by a forensic pathologist that she had been raped, mutilated, and burnt.
Hande Kader worked as a sex worker, a profession in which many trans people in Turkey are compelled to work due to lack of opportunities and outright discrimination preventing them from other employment. She was last seen getting into a car, apparently with a client. She had been missing for a few days before her body was discovered.
The murder of Hande Kader came just two weeks after the killing of a gay Syrian refugee Muhammed Wisam Sankari in the city. In the police investigation, it was found that Sankari had been raped and beheaded; his body was found at the place near to the area from where Kader’s body was discovered.
News of Hande’s murder led to a massive protest in Istanbul on 21 August, despite police repression against public gatherings, particularly the LGBTI community. Protesters chanted slogans and demanded justice for Hande.