Tina K. Russell

October 14, 2009

The defense

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 1:29 pm

The murder case of transsexual Melek K. who was killed in her home in Ankara was continued. The prosecutor claimed to try defendant T.P. under six different charges such as murder, plunder, theft and further allegations.

via English :: Prosecutor Claims 6 Different Charges against Melek K.’s Murder – Bianet.

I have a few things to say after reading the article:

  1. This Turkish news site was funded in part by the Swedish International Development Agency. Cool. (Hooray for Scandinavia!)
  2. It’s sad to see that even in Turkey murderers of transsexual women use the “tranny panic” defense, which is where you say the two of you were about to have sex when you saw her genitals, panicked, and killed her. In the States at least, it often works, as a means to get the jury on your side by playing to their prejudices. The thing is, not only is it bizarre and indefensible (you panicked and killed someone over their genitals?), it’s always a lie. Murderers of transsexuals can and do seek out their victims first.
  3. For the good news, the perp is dead to rights: evidence shows the victim still had her clothes on during the murder. For once, the tranny panic defense won’t work, and let’s hope it never does again.

December 22, 2008

Victorious Transsexuals: Bülent Ersoy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 12:34 am

Middle East Online
ISTANBUL – A Turkish court Thursday acquitted a famed transsexual singer of charges of turning the public against military service, citing clauses protecting free speech, Anatolia news agency reported.

Bulent Ersoy, 56, was put on trial after she said in February that if she had a son, she would not send him to the army to fight Kurdish rebels, whose 24-year campaign for self-rule in the southeast has claimed about 44,000 lives.

The court ruled that the alleged offence had not been committed and the defendant had exercised her right to freedom of expression, Anatolia said.

FREE SPEECH WIN! I hope this gives Turkey some serious EU points, with the possibility of many more if they reform the law itself.

September 25, 2008

Bülent Ersoy update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 1:34 am

Thank your lucky stars, and your country’s laws or founding documents, if you have freedom of speech. Not having it kind of sucks; just ask Bülent Ersoy, now on trial for criticizing Turkey’s mandatory military service, and its excursions in Iraq to the south.

Transsexual Turkish singer defends self in court – International Herald Tribune
Singer Bulent Ersoy has acknowledged saying on television that if she had children she would not want them to join the army to battle Kurdish rebels who are fighting for self-rule.

“I spoke in the name of humanity. Even if I were to face execution, I would say the same thing,” the state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Ersoy as telling the court in Istanbul.

In Turkey, defendants are not expected to enter a plea before a panel of judges hears testimony at a trial and returns a verdict.

Ersoy questioned the fairness of a law making it a crime to criticize Turkey’s mandatory 15-month military service for all men over 20. If found guilty, she could face two years in prison.

Ersoy, 56, who sings traditional Turkish music and dresses in flamboyant gowns, served in the military before her 1981 sex-change operation, her lawyer Muhittin Yuzuak told the court Wednesday.

Turkey wants to join the European Union, to become its first Muslim nation. Turkey will have to clean up this atrocious behavior to join the European club, and EU countries should do all they can to encourage them to do so, and welcome them as a potential member of the European Union.

June 18, 2008

Wrongly Persecuted Transsexuals: Bulent Ersoy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:55 am

Transsexual Turkish singer on trial for criticizing military service – International Herald Tribune
A popular transsexual Turkish singer went on trial Wednesday on charges of trying to turn the public against military service.

Bulent Ersoy could face more than two years in prison for saying during a live television show that if she had children, she would not want them to join the army to fight Kurdish rebels.

Military service is obligatory for men over the age of 20 in Turkey, and it is a crime to speak against it.

The European Union, which Turkey wants to join, is pressing Turkey to do away with laws that stifle free expression.

Ersoy, who underwent a sex-change operation in 1981 to become a woman, is one of Turkey’s best-loved singers. She was barred from appearing on stage during the 1980s following a military coup by generals who disapproved of her.

In an indictment against Ersoy, prosecutor Ali Cakir accused the singer of “alienating the public toward military service” and of affecting the morale of the soldiers and their families. He asked that the singer be punished with between nine and 30 months in prison.

Imagine if the Dixie Chicks were legally threatened with jail time, and you’ll see how absurd this is.

(Memo to Agance-France Presse: Do you really need to begin the headline and article with that she’s transsexual? Obviously, I put “transsexual” in the headline, but that’s because of this blog that I run. I’d guess the point is that she’s being persecuted for exercising freedom of speech, not that she’s transsexual, but I have a personal stake in societal acceptance of transsexuality as normal, so what do I know?)

(Memo to Turkish government: Heavy-handed crackdowns on dissent insult Turkishness more than any plain-spoken popstar ever could.)

June 11, 2008

Awesome Cissexuals: Mehmet Murat Somer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 9:38 pm

Turkish novelist Mehmet Murat Somer writes about a cross-dressing detective out to help a community that the police all too often ignore. That’s something I can get behind. Here’s an interview with him, by Bloomberg’s Steve Bryant.

Bloomberg.com: Muse Arts
After a hard day of computer programming and martial-arts training, Burcak Veral dresses up as Audrey Hepburn and sallies forth to solve crimes in Istanbul’s transsexual community.

The cases are grisly: transsexuals raped and drowned or left to die in burning buildings. Yet it’s all in a night’s work for the hero-heroine who kick-boxes and jiggles through the bestselling novels of Turkish crime writer Mehmet Murat Somer.

Somer is a former Citigroup Inc. branch manager and trainer who left the bank in 1994 to become a management consultant. In his beige trousers and open-necked shirt, he cut a dapper, sassy figure as I joined him in a cafe near his office in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul.

It’s a regular haunt for the author, who greeted the waiters with a wave as he sauntered in and demanded a quiet table. Over a lunch of seafood salad, we talked about Agatha Christie, police crackdowns and the first English translation of one of his books, which explore the hidden sides of Turkish sexuality.

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