Man flees Turkey after “honour killing” of his gay activist boyfriend
The partner of murdered gay student Ahmet Yildiz has been forced to flee Turkey in fear of his life.
Yildiz, a 26-year-old physics student, was shot leaving a cafe on the Bosphorus strait during the weekend.
His body was found in his car.
He was believed to be fleeing the attack when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed.
His partner, who held a German passport, left the country on the advice of the consulate.
He had no rights over his partner’s body, which has been left lying in the city morgue.
The murder is believed by Mr Yildiz’s friends to be an “honour killing” carried out by members of his own family.
“From the day I met him, I never heard Ahmet have a friendly conversation with his parents,” a close friend told The Independent.
“They would argue constantly, mostly about where he was, who he was with, what he was doing.”
Mr Yildiz’s friends fear that because of his family’s rejection of his sexuality they will not claim the body. His friends have no power to collect the body for burial.
Standing outside the morgue that held Mr Yildiz’s body, a friend of his told The Independent: “We’ve been trying to contact Ahmet’s family since Wednesday, to get them to take responsibility for the funeral. There’s no answer and I don’t think they are going to come.”
It is common for families of “honour killings” not to collect the body of the victim.
In the months leading up to his murder, Mr Yildiz had been to a prosecutor to report death threats he had received. The case was dropped.
Ahmet Yildiz represented his country at an international gay gathering in San Francisco in 2007.
Sedef Cakmak, a friend and member of gay rights group Lambda said: “He fell victim to a war between old mentalities and growing civil liberties.”
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Turkey has tried to project a more liberal attitude towards the LGBT community since it began lobbying the European Union for membership status.
This year’s gay Pride in Istanbul was the largest ever recorded in the city.
The ruling party, Justice and Development Party (AKP) was the first in Turkey’s history to send a deputy to a conference on Gay rights.
The AKP has struggled to balance the demands of Turkey’s more liberal population with the conservatives.
In May an Istanbul court placed a ban on the country’s largest LGBT civil rights group, Lambda.
Woman are usually the victims of “honour killings” and Ahmet Yildiz’s case is considered unique.