The court has accepted a lawsuit filed by a male inmate incarcerated at the Maltepe Closed Prison concerning his wish to change gender.
Yunus A., who was imprisoned at the Maltepe Closed Prison for several crimes, filed a lawsuit in 2013 to change his name, claiming that he was a transsexual. On Jan. 22, 2014, the male inmate's name was changed to Aslı. Following his name change, Aslı A. filed another lawsuit to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, arguing that the operation was a necessity for him.
Within the scope of the lawsuit, which was overseen by the Anadolu 22nd Civil Courts of the First Instance, the Marmara University Pendik Training and Research Hospital presented a report stating that the inmate was diagnosed with gender identity disorder, and changing his biological gender from male to female was a necessity for his mental health. The court ruled that the gender-reassignment surgery should take place, as the inmate physically resembles a woman, and the report of the hospital supports the request of the complainant.
The verdict pointed out that hormone treatment therapy should also be conducted under the supervision of a medical doctor, and the operations that are necessary to change the inmate's gender from male to female do not pose an obstacle to his mental health.
According to article 40 of Turkish Civil Law, the individual who wants to change his or her gender must be a transsexual, and he or she should not lack their reproductive ability in order for the court to agree to their request to change gender.
The verdict underscored that people who struggle with their physical appearance might experience intense sorrow and shame leading to irreparable damage to their mental health as well as other undesired consequences.