Gay and transgender persons in Turkey face "honour” killings by their families in Turkey to save face and respect for their children’s sexuality.
Sexual identity and homophobia in modern-day Turkey and the systematic violence and discrimination faced by Turkey’s LGBT community must be brought to the forefront
The 2008 killing of Abmet Yildiz was the first publicised gay so-called "honour killing" in Turkey, though not the first for sure. A recent case of a transsexual murdered by her brother has also highlighted the issue.
The cases emphasise the fact that men and transsexuals can also be victims of honour killings.
A fact that even Human Rights Watch, does not acknowledge but defines honour killings as something that happens to women.
The killings therefore raise the possibility that the definition and documentation of so-called honour killings needs to be re-examined. Families in Turkey want to protect the “reputation” of their name and so rarely this is reported to the authorities who also turn a blind eye. As such, cases are reported as other incidents.
The Turkish government is gradually opening up on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. But LGBT rights are still not part of Turkish law, and there is even less in terms of anti-discriminatory legislation. LGBT communities and vibrant gay scenes have been developing across Turkey in the last two decades. The country has also become a refuge for LGBT from neighbouring countries, most notably Iran and Iraq.
Despite the legal and social difficulties, the country is slowly opening up, yet many problems remain as recent events aptly portray.
Turkish LGBT activist Kemal Ordek summation of ‘this portrays how this system and morals turn a child into a murderer’ speaks volumes.
It is therefore called upon President Abdullah Gül to express his disapproval for the honour killings, establish laws condemning hate crime, homophobia and honour killings, provide extra protection for victims of hate-crime, and establish laws to prevent violence against gay and transgender citizens.