An openly gay designer who was attacked in Istanbul says he was assaulted because he had defended LGBT rights in a recent interview.
After being attacked in a major tourist neighborhood Thursday evening, Barbaros Sansal posted an image of his bloodied face on Twitter. “I was threatened and attacked due to political reasons, at 04:50 am in Taksim Ayaspasa,” he tweeted. “Dark brains, you will pay a heavy price for this. They told me that I will pay for my writings and statements with my life. I am only a soul but what will millions say?”
According to Gay Star News, Sansal’s interview with Sözcü made him a target for anti-gay thugs. In the same interview he revealed he had been tortured and raped by police in 1980.
While Turkey is more moderate than most Muslim countries—and homosexual relations between adults are legal there—the LGBT community still faces harassment and discrimination, even in cosmopolitan areas like Ankara and Istanbul.