Transgender social media influencer assaulted in southern Turkey

Mika Raun (Photo: Bianet)

Mika Raun, a popular transgender social media personality, was assaulted while on holiday in Antalya, southern Turkey.

The attack occurred in the presence of her boyfriend’s mother and his underage sister, leading to widespread condemnation from LGBT rights groups.

Raun shared her ordeal through a series of videos on social media, revealing that police escorted her to the hospital after the incident.

“I am so scared now that I hesitate to go to the grocery store,” Raun said in one video, expressing fear and reluctance to leave her home following the attack.

The altercation reportedly began in a supermarket when a man took unauthorized photographs of Raun, her boyfriend and his underage sister. When Raun’s boyfriend warned the man, the situation escalated, and Raun was struck and injured by the photographer.

The incident has provoked a strong reaction from various advocacy groups and media outlets. Velvele, a prominent LGBT rights organization, condemned the assault, stating, “We denounce the attack on internet phenomenon transgender woman Mika Raun and her boyfriend. Everyone and every institution that opens space for transphobia, fuels trans hatred and encourages attackers instead of punishing them is guilty!”

Demir Leblebi, another advocacy group, highlighted the timing of the attack during Trans Pride Week, vowing to continue the fight against violence and transphobia.

Kampüs Cadıları, an advocacy group for women and LGBT rights, blamed the attack on the current political climate’s hate-fueled policies, expressing solidarity with Raun.

Direnişin Renkleri, an LGBT rights organization, called for accountability from those who promote hate policies and disregard the lives of transgender individuals, pledging to intensify the struggle for freedom.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but homophobia is widespread. While there are no official figures, Turkey has slid down the LGBT rights index published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). Last year, it was ranked 47th out of the 49 countries ILGA lists in its Eurasia region.

The increase in hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community in Turkey coincided with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s electoral alliances in recent years with ultranationalist and ultraconservative political factions.

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