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Turkey's transgender sex workers hoping for human rights

Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
01/12
Caption
A brothel in Beyoglu, one of the many on the side streets where post op trans-genders work as sex workers. The area is upcoming and the workers experience rising rents and an influx of competition from Eastern European immigrant sex works.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
02/12
Caption
'Bircan' and 'Gelin' in their room. They participated in a demo last year for LGBT sex workers rights, but say they have seen no improvements since then. They are encouraged by recent changes to laws in European Union nations like the UK marriage law.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
03/12
Caption
The full operation over the years has cost over 30,000 Lira which is equivalent to 9,400 UK Pounds. Gelin stands by one of the windows they use to call in customers. Transgender and female sex workers use the same area for business in trendy Beyoglu.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
04/12
Caption
The sex workers live and rent out the room to work near each other in Beyoglu. They stay within the community to find protection in traditional conservative Turkish society.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
05/12
Caption
'Aba' was also at the demo last year for better protection for transgender workers. She is angry many transgenders still have to work on the more dangerous streets. Some houses have "mothers" non-transgender females who watch out for the women.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
06/12
Caption
Two girls 'Funda' and 'Aba' look out the window for customers in Beyoglu. In a society that does not even recognize their existence they are dependent on each other for support and protection.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
07/12
Caption
The inside of one of the brothels. The room has bright red bulbs with several couches. The women, many whom have had a sex change operation, charge anywhere from 100 (40 Euros) lira to 300 (120 Euros) lira for various sex services.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
08/12
Caption
'Gelin' has been a sex worker for 17 years. She had her sex change operation over a 10 year period. She wishes that Turkey would have protection laws in place for her community. Without them they are dependent on each other for protection.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
09/12
Caption
'Funda' has had a full sex change. The average costs is a around 9,000 UK pounds. 'Funda' shows a tattoo at the bottom of her mid section. There is absolutely no state medical support or mental health support openly available for these workers.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
10/12
Caption
'Funda' has been sex working for 17 years. The economy in Istanbul is growing but wages for sex workers are not rising with inflation. Many find themselves living with more & more women together in one house.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
11/12
Caption
The women are very proud of their gender transformations. 'Funda' has had breast implants which have cost 10,000 Lira (3,300 UK pounts). Some workers feel pressure to keep up with an influx of young Russian sex workers coming into the area.
Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
12/12
Caption
'Aba' also paid 10,000 Lira for her implants. She explains that over the years Russian girls are coming to Istanbul, so more and more money goes into rent which is increasing and surgery to stay competitive.
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
  • Turkeys transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
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In Beyoglu behind the trendy Istiklal street, where few tourists go there are the transgender sex workers. They are still fearful of walking around the streets of Istanbul, though their customers are from all segments of male society.

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