Hande Kader Murdered: Facts About Mutilated LGBT Activist

Hande Kader Murdered: Facts About Mutilated LGBT Activist
Resistanbul Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr CC

In Turkey, hundreds marched to protest the brutal killing of Hande Kader, an LGBT activist well-known and respected in the community. Kader was only in her early 20’s when she died.


Kader was barely recognizable when her remains were discovered on August 8 in the upper middle class neighborhood of Zekeriyaköy. Her body had been mutilated and set on fire, a likely attempt from her killer (or killers) to hide her identity. Nonetheless, Kader’s roommate, Davut Dengiler, managed to positively identify her in the morgue.

Before her death, Kader made a living as a sex worker. The last time anyone saw her was when she stepped out to meet a client. According to a report from Al Jazeera, Kader was seen getting into a car around the city’s Harbiye District in late July. Nobody knew where Kader had been since then.

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Kader was a proud advocate of LGBT human rights. According to a report from The Washington Blade, Kader bravely took the streets with other activists despite police preventing them from going through with the Istanbul Pride march last year. Police used pepper spray, tear gas, and water cannons against Kader and the rest of the activists, but they marched on.

In the U.S., the State Department has condemned the vicious killing of Kader. In a statement, an official said, “We condemn any and all violence targeting LGBTI persons. We call on the Turkish government to investigate this murder fully and bring the perpetrator of this horrendous crime to justice.”

Following Kader’s death, the Kaos GL organization reports that Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu have come together and joined a protest against Kader’s killing. One slogan read, “Hande Kader’s here, where are the murderers?”

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