The body of Ahmet Yildiz, Turkey’s first suspected victim of a gay “honour killing,” has been removed from the city morgue.
The remains of the 26-year-old physics student had been left there by his family, a move common in “honour killings” cases.
In Turkey only family members of the deceased have rights over the body.
While reports say Mr Yildiz’s corpse has been collected, no one knows which family member has claimed it. He was shot leaving a cafe on the Bosphorus strait during the weekend.
His body was found in his car.
His partner, who held a German passport, left the country on the advice of the consulate.
Speaking exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk he said:
“Ahmet had been receiving threats for as long as I knew him. He told me this has been going on since his coming out a year ago.
“When he came out to his parents, who had always suspected, they made him feel guilty about it.”
Mr Yildiz’s partner, who asked not to be named as he is in fear of his life, said had he joined his partner for an ice cream on last week, he would have been shot dead himself.
“Ahmet had asked me if I wanted to go out for an ice cream. as I had just settled down for the night at Ahmet’s flat, I declined.
“A couple of minutes later there were burst of loud gunfire outside the flat. I knew immediately that involved Ahmet and rushed out of the flat,” he said.
“I arrived at the scene to see Ahmet’s car reversing out of his parking space, trying to escape.
“I fought through some onlookers just in time to see him with his eyes open and asked him please don’t die, then he shut his eyes.”
Turkish police have yet to launch an investigation into the shooting.
Many of Mr. Yildiz’s friends, including his partner, believe his family are involved and murdered him because he was openly gay.
“Even before Ahmet came out there was trouble with his family,” Mr Yildiz’s bereaved partner said. “When he came out it only got worse.”
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Homophobia in Turkey has always been rife, but according to Mr Yildiz’s partner, it has gotten worse over the last four years.
He describes homophobia in Turkey to be “unbelievably bad.”
“I can only speak for the Istanbul area but in the countryside it is much worse. In the country honour plays too strong a role for the family,” he said.
Mr Yildiz’s partner is not optimistic about his chances to bring Ahmet’s murderers to justice.
“I know the Turkish system. I know I haven’t got a leg to stand on. Human rights are known and accepted in the West but are not freely available in Turkey.
“I have no claim to his estate and body and cannot even collect my personal belongings from his flat. I cannot even bury my loved one.
“Apart from giving my statement to the press, I as an individual have absolutely no chance to bring his parents to justice for this murder of their son and my partner.”
Mr Yildiz’s partner has given statements to the police at the site of Ahmet’s murder, as well as handing in a signed statement to the local police station.
He fled Turkey the night of Mr Yildiz’s murder and has been living in fear of his life since.