Trans Woman Wins European Human Rights Case Against Turkey

To further my report on Turkey jailing transgender activists for ‘insulting police,’ in another case Turkey has been found guilty at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) of failing to carry out an effective investigation in the case of a transgender woman who was harassed by a police officer.

Cases in the court can often take a long time and this was from 1999.

Esma Halat complained about a police officer who took her to the Beşiktaş Police Station in İstanbul by force when she was on her way home on Oct. 21, 1999. There, she was exposed to physical and psychological harassment by Barış Gözen, deputy police chief of the Beşiktaş police.

Gözen was tried in İstanbul at the time and was found not guilty.

Halat went to the ECtHR only after receiving no justice in Turkish courts. The ECtHR ruled there had been a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR]. Article 3, which refers to the prohibition of torture, states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

The ECtHR ruled that Turkey should pay Halat 17,000 euros in compensation.

Related stories:

Turkey Jails Trans Activists for ‘Insulting Police’

Alleged “Gay Sex” Arrest Snare Leading Politician in North Cyprus

Breakthrough on Transgender Rights in…Kyrgyzstan

Photo credit:alp klanten


Silvia G.
Silvia G5 years ago

Congrats Esma, hope this is a start.

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

Glad she won, but the world needs to put pressure on Turkey. This case is from 1999 and it is not acceptable for justice to take this long.

Magdalena K.
Past Member 5 years ago


Annmari Lundin
Annmari L5 years ago

Congratulations to Esma Halat. Better late than never. Turkey hasn't evolved any more in those years since 1999. Unfortunately. Don't know if they still put up billboards accusing people of being gay if they drive like maniacs. Some 60,000 people get killed in traffic every year in Turkey, so they try to get people to be more careful. But associating wreckless driving with being gay, doesn't really help LGBT in Turkey.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Turkey should NOT be allowed into the EU until they progress into the 21st century and learn to get things done in a reasonable time, NOT a dozen years or so.

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

I am happy a small amount of justice was finally given. But it will be important to watch and see if Esma actually receives compensation from her attacker and if she is harrassed now that compensation has been awarded.

Ray M.
Ray M5 years ago

Congratulations, Esma.

Matilda H.
Past Member 5 years ago


Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago


Prinz Lilo
Lilo Prinz5 years ago

good news!