Gay refugees in limbo in Turkey

Published: November 13, 2010

VAN, TURKEY—From the passenger seat of a white minivan, Farzan Shahmoradi stared out the window, still unsure whether he had crossed the border. They countryside, all hills and rock and bushes, looked the same. Then, as the van rounded a bend, Shahmoradi’s smuggler pointed to an enormous flag — a white crescent moon and star on a red background — flapping on a hilltop.

He was in Turkey, but he was far from safe.

He still had to get to the United Nations refugee agency without attracting the attention of Turkish police, who could deport him if they knew he had no passport.

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