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Circuits of Law: Everyday Criminalisation of Transgender Embodiment in Istanbul

Tascioglu, Ezgi



G.B. Radics

P. Ciocchini


Historically, trans women of Turkey have been frequent targets of torture and ill-treatment by the police forces. Since the early 2000s, however, the strategies of the police to control trans women’s existence within the city has moved away from inflicting direct physical violence towards employing ‘law’ and creating an omnipresence of law in their everyday lives. This chapter examines two specific instances of such legal deployments: Misdemeanours fines and criminal law trials. While on the surface, these deployments of the law result in a diminished number of reported cases of torture and violence, I argue that they reflect less of a change of the underlying normative concerns around sex, gender and sexuality than an enhancement and expansion of the punitive capacity of the neoliberalising state under the Justice and Development Party government. I will show the ways through which trans women’s bodies, marked as unlawful occupiers of the urban space, are expelled to spaces outside the ‘circuits of security’ (Rose 2000) by the applications of misdemeanours and criminal laws. I argue that these employments of the law (dis)place trans women into constant circulation within and between different circuits of the law that work on and through various jurisdictions (O’Malley and Valverde 2014; Valverde 2014) and that makes it possible to govern in certain ways at the intersections of the formal and the informal.

Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2023
Publication Date Jan 25, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 26, 2025
Publisher Springer
Pages 231-251
Series Title Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies
Book Title Criminal Legalities and Minorities in the Global South: Rights and Resistance in a Decolonial World
ISBN 978-3-031-17917-4
Publisher URL