"Honor killing" of gay activist in Istanbul puts spotlight on Turkey's attitudes toward homosexuality

Posted by Sean Bugg
January 21, 2010 10:25 AM |
"I think it is important that people, that this fact, that a father can kill his son, simply because of his sexual orientation.  That is an important awareness, because maybe they were cases before, but we just did not know.... We read in the news maybe a father killed, but we did not know why before.  So I think its a very important step."

-- Oner Ceylan of the Istanbul gay rights organization Lambda, speaking on the murder of 26-year-old gay man Ahmet Yildiz by his father. Before he was shot outside the apartment he shared with his boyfriend, Yildiz had filed numerous complaints with the local prosecutor's office about death threats he had received from his family. Yildiz's father is presumed to be in hiding outside of Turkey. A recent government study found that a person dies in Istanbul every week as a result of an honor killing, mostly young women murdered by male relatives for having affairs, speaking to strangers or, in some cases, for being rape victims. (Voice of America)

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