Ibrahim Can, the partner of Ahmet Yildiz, a gay man shot dead in a reported “honour killing” in the Turkish city of Istanbul, will speak about his experience at London’s SOAS tomorrow.
Ahmet Yildiz was 26 when he was shot outside his apartment building in the summer of 2008.
His father, Yahya, is believed to be on the run after the death of his son. He allegedly shot Ahmet after he revealed his relationship with Can.
Can fled to Germany on the advice of his consulate on the night of the killing.
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk in 2008, he described homophobia in Turkey as “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.
“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.”
The UK Turkish and Kurdish Rainbow Association says it aims to challenge social stigmas and influence the governments in Turkey and Northern Cyprus to be more accepting of their LGBT citizens.
Homosexuality remains a criminal offence in Northern Cyprus, punishable with up to three years’ imprisonment.
Ibrahim Can’s address to the London audience will form part of a broader discussion on LGBT life in the communities.
Speaking about the talk, a spokesman for UK TKRA told PinkNews.co.uk: “Ibrahim has been through a great deal of trauma; losing the love of his life and having to leave the country he grew up in because the judiciary were on the side of the perpetrators and not those of the victim.
“We not only hope that our event helps LGBT people in the Cypriot, Turkish, Kurdish communities know they are not alone but that our own families and friends will accept us too.
“Turkey is a country with a fast changing culture, it is about time LGBT people had their rights protected under the law.”
The event, at the SOAS university’s Khalili Lecture Theatre at 8pm on Friday, will be open to the public. More information can be found at the UK TKRA’s event listing on Facebook.
by Stephen Gray – PinkNews