The killing of a gay Turkish man by his teenage brother, believed to have happened twenty years ago, has circulated internationally as news after a Turkish website digitised its archives and placed them online this month.
The murder was reported by some LGBT media outlets as a new example of a Turkish “honour killing”, but it has transpired the story was only posted on the Turkish Sabah website on 4 July as its archives went online, and the story was in fact written two decades ago, Turkish LGBT organisations say.
Burhan Tatli was believed to have been killed by his 14-year-old brother after the younger sibling received taunts over his brother’s sexual orientation in Gaziantep.
Turkish LGBT organisations have published a letter online saying they confirmed with the newspaper the Turkish-language story was two decades old and said they would have liked to have been contacted before it was reported elsewhere.
The letter, posted on the ILGA website, said: “As LGBT organizations, we think that LGBT organizations and their contact persons should be considered as the source of information and that similar violations reflected in international media which would be circulated without validation would harm our movement.”
It says that while the story has been removed from the first English-language site to cover it, requests for information about the killing still continue. The story has now been widely re-reported in a number of languages due to the unusually violent nature of the crime.
The organisations write: “It is a tendency to circulate unvalidated news particularly in social media in order to make violations against LGBT individuals visible. However, this hasty and imprecise attitude is shaking the confidence over the credibility of LGBT community and organizations, rather than developing our movement and solidarity.
“What’s more, this causes demoralization in LGBT community. As LGBT organizations, we think that LGBT organizations and their contact persons should be considered as the source of information and that similar violations reflected in internatonal media which would be circulated without validation would harm our movement.”
The letter was signed by the Kaos GL Association, Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association, the Black Pink Triangle Association of İzmir.
Despite the family killing not being a recent case, Turkey is still seen as one of the worst countries in Europe to be gay by the International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe. Homosexuality is legal but discrimination is prevalent.
President Abdullah Gul is has been asked to act against the “systematic violence and discrimination faced by Turkey’s LGBT community”.