03/02/2020 | Writer: Aslı Alpar
Responding to the letters of trans prisoners on January 22nd, the International Day Of Solidarity With Trans Prisoners, Seçin Tuncel from Kaos GL explains: "Most of the letters are on problems of isolation."
Kaos GL's Seçin Tuncel answers letters from LGBTI+ prisoners. On January 22nd, international Day of Solidarity with Trans Prisoners, we asked Tuncel: What are the problems that trans prisoners mention in letters?
Tuncel says that loneliness is the feeling that trans prisoners face the most, as they share in their letters: "Loneliness is the feeling we encounter the most in the letters of trans prisoners. The trans male prisoner with whom we have been exchanging letters for a long time, wrote that prison administrators kept him in solitary confinement, citing 'security'. Many of the trans prisoners are in isolation. They justify isolation by saying 'our facilities are limited' or 'we cannot ensure safety'. For this reason, most of our letters are about isolation and problems related to isolation."
“We are directing them to Pink Life and CİSST”
Tuncel says trans prisoners frequently state their demands of clothing in their letters, and these demands are being directed to the Pink Life Association's Dilek İnce Clothing Bank: We are providing necessary directions to the trans penpal of us from the prisons. To the Civil Society in Penal System Association or the Pink Life Association, which are working in this field. For the demands of the clothing of trans prisoners, the address we direct is Pink Life's Dilek İnce Clothing Bank."
The letters that take away the loneliness
"Another agenda of the letters is the magazine requests. Tuncel says "prisoners are empowered by LGBTI+ movement, our magazine breaks that loneliness at least a little bit", and reminded that during the state of emergency Kaos GL Magazine was not accepted by the prison administration for arbitrary reasons and was not handed to prisoners.
Tuncel points out that most trans prisoners can't receive any support from their family, and along with the prison conditions, isolation makes them feel much more alone: "There are very few places for trans prisoners to resort to the problems they face. We're happy if we can reduce that loneliness a little bit with the relationship we've established through the letters."
Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
Tags: human rights, women