Saturday, April 10, 2010

Justice for Ahmet Yildiz

PHOTO from The Independent

Police continue to search for Ahmet Yildiz' father, who is suspected to have killed his son for being gay. From Bianet:
The Turkish army classifies homosexuality as a "disease" while police are notoriously harsh against transsexuals.

"Just yesterday, police raided the flat where we meet our clients, breaking down the door," Ece, a 43-year-old transsexual, said.

"They arrested everyone and beat one of the girls with a truncheon. She had to have three stitches to her head," she added.

Although the Islamist-rooted government has enacted a series of rights reforms to boost the country's EU bid since it came to power in 2002, it has turned a blind eye to homosexual rights.

In March, Family Affairs and Women's Minister Selma Aliye Kavaf declared in a newspaper interview that she believed homosexuality was a "biological disorder, a disease."

"I think it should be treated," she said, attracting a storm of anger and enhancing fears that Islam is taking a more prominent place under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

According to Demir, the violence against homosexuals and her kind has its roots in a "rise in nationalism, Islamic values, poverty, and unemployment in the past seven or eight years".

"In such a climate, homosexuals and transsexuals are easy targets. Assailants think that nobody will ask questions and that they won't risk heavy penalties if they kill a transsexual," she said.

. . . .

President Judge Burhan Karaloğlu decided to launch an investigation into the whereabouts of Aymelek. The case will be continued on 30 June.

Ahmet Yıldız was shot in front of a café in Üsküdar on Istanbul's Anatolian side on 15 July 2008. After the murder, it emerged that Yıldız had complained about his family because of "threats", but authorities had not taken any action. Yıldız's family had not taken his body from the morgue for weeks. Eventually, he was buried anonymously.
For background, see July 20 post.

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