Ahmet Yildiz: First Gay Victim of Honor Killing in Turkey? By Therion

Ahmet Yildiz: first gay victim of honor killing in Turkey? By Therion

The UK Independent reports that Ahmet Yildiz, an openly gay 26 year old physics student was shot as he left a cafe near the Bosphorus Strait this week. He tried to flee from the attackers in his car, but lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Yildiz died shortly afterwards in hospital.

Yildiz’ friends and associates believe he was the victim of so-called honor killing.

Turkish sociologist, Mazhar Bagli, has done extensive research involving people who have been convicted for honor killings. Bagli has little doubt that Yildiz’ death could indeed fall into the honor killing category:

“Honour killings cleanse illicit relationships. For women, that is a broad term. Men are allowed more sexual freedom, but homosexuality is still seen by some as beyond the pale.”

In Turkey it is believed that around 1,000 honor killings have been committed over the past five years. In virtually every case, the victims are young women who have transgressed against patriarchal rules governing conduct. In some cases females have been murdered for the ‘crime’ of having premarital sex. They have also been murdered for falling victim to rape and even for the offense of speaking to a stranger.

Ahmet Yildiz was openly gay. This was an affront to members of his family who believed his lifestyle brought shame on the family name.

Prior to the shooting, Yildiz was pressured by relatives who wanted him see a doctor so he could be “cured.” When he was in the company of relatives, there were continual arguments.

Yildiz openly gay lifestyle even made him the target of death threats. Yet despite the enormous pressure to underplay his homosexuality, he had the courage to stand his ground.

The courage of Ahmet Yildiz is the more remarkable since gay rights in Turkey have recently taken a few hits. As the Turkish gay community has become more visible, there has been a reactionary backlash with gays targeted for beatings, insults and threats.

Istanbul’s largest gay rights group, LAMDA, was forced to close in May as a result of a court order. The court proceeding against LAMDA was initiated by the Istanbul governor’s office that claimed the organization was “against law and morality.”

A former neighbor of Ahmet Yildiz said that his refusal to live-a-lie may have been too much for some people:

“He could have hidden who he was, but he wanted to live honestly. When the death threats started, his boyfriend tried to persuade him to get out of Turkey. But he stayed. He was too brave. He was too open.”

Full article here

See also: Was Ahmet Yildiz the victim of Turkey’s first gay honour killing?


  1. Tony Khan, Canada

    There is no need for human slaughter of any kind on this planet. The perpetrators of this crime must simply be brought to justice and made to pay for their indescretion in the most severe way. We as human beings cannot allow this to continue and we must stay united to ensure that it does not. If we have to put a ban on Turkey, so be it!
    It is almost 2009 and we cannot be taking any steps backward. How can a country expect different results if it continues to do the same thing?

    Any Turkish citizen who does nothing is just as guilty as the police authorities and should not be afraid of the government…you elected them and they work for you!

    Ahmet was a man, a man first. He did not ask to be born or to be born gay. He was a fellow human being and should have been treated with dignity. Shame on Turkey and those by-standers who turn the other way!


  2. Des Corbeau

    Hi I live in Australia and I know that homophobia still exists here. It sickens me to think that we are still not considered equally to straight people. Until we are treated by governments and the general public with respect this world cannot be a truely peaceful, happy one. Grow up homophobes! Ahmet Yildiz is a human being and if you want to persecute us your world is so small and you are a fool. One day you will be old and frail and your heart will burn because your darling grandson loves another man. Do you really want to live your life in fear of this??? Embrace it you coward. Embrace the differences in people. That is what makes life beautiful. Let us live. Homosexuality is not a crime… its not a sin… the commandments don’t say anything about homosexuality! If you hurt or discredit or deny another gay person emotionally, physically or professionally BECAUSE he is gay YOU need to repent… you are the lowest of the low. I bet you and your friends watch lesbian porn!!!! Realise that we are a part of the fabric of your society and culture, we enrich the tapesty of life just like anyone else. Nuff said… time to go to the gym. Love ya Ahmet. You have not died in vein, only shone the mirror at society and the evils of some people. Turkey has been crossed off my list forever.

  3. a documentary movie is coming on the way about Ahmet Yıldız.
    Let’s see what change it will bring (or not)…

    • A movie titled ZENNE was made last year again in Turkey with Ahmet Yıldız and his assassination by his father, Ahmet’s love affair with a photographer and his friendship with a male dancer called in Turkish traditional dance “zenne”. It has received some awards in Turkey too. The film directed by a gay couple is a must see!

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