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“We are here for you Kemal”: Trans sex work activist Kemal Ördek was brutally attacked in Ankara, Turkey

Solidarity with Kemal Ordek
© Kemal Ördek'in Yanındayız

AWID stands in solidarity with human rights defender Kemal Ördek who was raped, robbed and assaulted in Ankara, Turkey and joins Turkish and international human rights organizations to demand an immediate, effective and impartial investigation into the attacks against Kemal.

Kemal Ördek is one of the founders of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, an organization promoting and advocating for the rights of sex workers and documenting grave abuses in Turkey.  

Kemal’s personal commitment to human rights and pioneering work at Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association at great personal risk has inspired many.

Kemal has been abused both by the perpetrators of the crimes and the criminal justice system that should have protected Kemal in the first place. When Kemal, who is trans*, took the perpetrators to the police seeking justice for the robbery, rape and assault, the police officers took the word of the three perpetrators rather than that of Kemal and allowed the perpetrators to use transphobic comments to dismiss the crimes.   

AWID has written to the Turkish authorities to request the launch of an effective and impartial investigation into attacks against Kemal, not only to protect Kemal as an individual but also provide a conducive environment for Kemal’s human rights work.

AWID and other women’s rights, feminist and human’s rights organizations will attentively monitor the case and continue to show solidarity with Kemal Ördek.


Send your letters of protest to the following Turkish authorities:

  1. Mr. Sebahattin Öztürk

Ministry of Interior

Bakanlıklar, 06580, ANKARA, Turkey

Please refer to the ill-treatment Kemal Ordek suffered along with Kemal’s lawyer at Esat Police Station in Ankara, Turkey and the lack of any effective investigation into the attacks. Please emphasize that you will be monitoring closely whether Kemal is protected against threats by the Turkish authorities.  

  1. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu

Prime Ministry

Vekaletler Caddesi Başbakanlık Merkez Bina P. K. 06573 Kızılay - ANKARA - Turkey

Please emphasize the attacks Kemal Ordek has experienced and kindly ask if the Turkish Government to ensure the basic human rights of trans people and sex workers. Please also mention you are concerned about the safety of Kemal Ordek and protest the treatment Kemal has faced at the Esat Police Station in Ankara, Turkey

Follow Kemal’s case on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed, and spread the word about recent developments. 

Read Kemal’s account of events

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