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Honor killings haunt Turkey's gay community

Two court cases of "gay honor killings" in Turkey reveal a similar pattern of deep-rooted prejudice and social codes that override even the closest family bonds.
A gay rights activist waves a rainbow flag during a protest at Tunel Square in Istanbul June 23, 2013.  REUTERS/Marko Djurica (TURKEY - Tags: SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST) - RTX10Y6T

Two months ago, the Bar Association in Diyarbakir, the largest city of Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, received an application from an underage boy, who, on the advice of friends, sought refuge with the institution.

The teenager, whose name is withheld due to his receiving death threats, wrote along the following lines: “I was beaten by family members after they learned I was homosexual. After the beating, my father held a gun to my head, put a Quran in my hands and told me to repent. I somehow managed to run away the following day. My family stormed the homes of my friends and battered them, too. I have nowhere to take refuge. My life is in danger.”

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