From Esmeray, candidate for MP, to trans women: ‘You can go to the polls with your identity card’

I met trans activist and theater player Zeynep Esmeray Özadikti on March 28 first, when she announced that she will be running for MP in the 2nd electoral district of Istanbul, under the Worker's Party of Turkey (TIP).

More than one month has passed and this time we met with Esmeray in Firüzaga, a neighborhood in Cihangir, Istanbul which is in her electoral district. We were with her in her election campaign.

She is exchanging hellos with citizens, the shopkeepers show great interest, and we talked about her election campaign while touring the streets.

Esmeray wants to respond to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu who marks LGBTI+ people as a target using the "family" concept. "I took a photo with my family, we will share it soon. Soylu should look at that picture carefully," says Esmeray.

“We had a very concentrated campaigning period. We worked day and night. I was very lucky. There are many young friends in TIP. They work a lot and they also make me work. I adopted to them and I am working. The international media shows great interest but there is censorship to us in Turkey. Even Halk TV censored me," Esmeray told us.

The parliamentary candidate also said, “Out on the streets, people show interest. I did not know that so many people knew me. This gives me great hope. I had a very difficult surgical operation. The doctors had told me that I was "on the margin." I had heard this before, I was in the margin, but I have overcome all. I believe that we will overcome this border on Sunday."

‘Herkes gönülden destek veriyor’

“The people should not worry. It does not matter if your identity card is blue or pink. Especially trans women should not be afraid, they should go to the polls. I went before with my blue identity card and there was no problem. We have our friends at the ballot boxes, from the Green Left Party, and from TIP, they will be helping.

"The election threshold is no problem for us, we say one vote to TIP and one vote to Green and Left Party. I will struggle in order to amend Article 10 of the Constitution and to place gender equality in the Constitution. Again, there are homeless trans people, we will be making a shelter for them.

Source: English Bianet