Anti-Gay “Honor Killing” In Turkey?

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Twenty-six year old Ahmet Yildiz, described as “Turkey’s gay poster boy,” was shot and killed last week. And his friends suspect a so-called honor killing:

His friends believe Mr Yildiz was the victim of the country’s first gay honor killing.

“He fell victim to a war between old mentalities and growing civil liberties,” says Sedef Cakmak, a friend and a member of the gay rights lobby group Lambda. “I feel helpless: we are trying to raise awareness of gay rights in this country, but the more visible we become, the more we open ourselves up to this sort of attack.”

So-called “honor killings” continue to be a grim reality wherever conservative social mores resist the rule of law.

In Turkey, a recent government study estimated that around 1,000 honor killings have been committed in the past five years. The victims are mostly young women, murdered by male relatives for transgressing chauvinistic social rules.

Yildiz’s death is but one example of growing anti-gay sentiment in Turkey. The government earlier this year dissolved gay group Lambda Istanbul for its “immoral” behavior, a move that garnered the nation plenty of criticism. But apparently cultural evolution’s going to take a bit more than finger-wagging…