A gay honour killing....
Hard to be open and gay in a muslim country....
For 26-year-old Ahmet Yildiz, the choice to live openly as a gay man in Turkey proved deadly. Prosecutors say his father, charged with allegedly killing his son in what is being dubbed as the first gay honor killing, traveled more than 900 kilometers from his hometown to shoot his son in an old neighborhood of Istanbul. The case has drawn international attention and is putting the spotlight on Turkey's attitude towards homosexuality.
The young physics student, Ahmet Yildiz, was one of the few openly gay men in Turkey, a country in which the military, the guardian of Turkey's secular state, regards homosexuality as a disorder.
Yildiz represented his country at a gay meeting in San Francisco and wrote for gay publications in Turkey. Observers believe his activism is probably what got him killed.
His boyfriend, Ibrahim Can, was in their shared apartment when Yildiz was murdered.
He wanted to go out and buy some ice cream, he went down and just got into his car and I heard gunshots, he says. I looked down from the window I saw him being ambushed. He says he ran outside and screamed "Please do not die." Can said his eyes were closed, when I shouted he opened for a second, he looked at me and then closed his eyes.
Can says before the shooting, Yildiz had repeatedly filed complaints at the local prosecutor's office that he was receiving death threats from his family. Gay rights groups claim the prosecutor's office did not investigate or provide Yildiz with protection.
The story was largely ignored until it starting getting attention by the foreign media. What resulted was a bout of national soul-searching underlining the tensions between the secular modern Turkey and a more traditionalist Turkey, in which conservative Islam increasingly holds power.