Death of Gay Activist Brings Turkey's Attitude Toward Gays Into Focus

Published: January 21, 2010

Death of Gay Activist Brings Turkey’s Attitude Toward Gays Into Focus

For 26-year-old Ahmet Yildiz, the choice to live openly as a gay man in Turkey proved deadly.  Prosecutors say his father, charged with allegedly killing his son in what is being dubbed as the first gay honor killing, traveled more than 900 kilometers from his hometown to shoot his son in an old neighborhood of Istanbul.  The case has drawn international attention and is putting the spotlight on Turkey’s attitude  towards homosexuality.

The young physics student, Ahmet Yildiz, was one of the few openly gay men in Turkey, a country in which the military, the guardian of Turkey’s secular state, regards homosexuality as a disorder.

Yildiz represented his country at a gay meeting in San Francisco and wrote for gay publications in Turkey.  Observers believe his activism is probably what got him killed.

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