A father who killed his gay son for ‘shaming the family’ is facing life in prison.
On 2 July 2012, 17-year-old Roşin Çiçek was found beaten, bloody and with a bullet wound in his head at the side of the road in a Turkish town.
Two days later, he died.
After a landmark case that lasted for nearly two years, a court yesterday (10 February) found Çiçek’s father Metin and uncles Seyhmus and Mehmut guilty of manslaughter. All three were handed a sentence of life imprisonment.
The court rejected the family’s defense the death was caused by ‘accident’.
According to local activists, the attitudes of the defendants’ relatives towards the press and LGBTI activists were ‘extremely aggressive’.
The mother of the killed teen requested the press be removed from the courtroom.
At one point, she yelled: ‘If [my son] were gay, I would have killed him with my own hands! You have shamed us!’
After repeatedly denying the manslaughter, the father finally confessed in the last hearings.
Sezgin Tanrikulu, vice president of Turkey’s Republican People’s Party, has demanded the government legislate against hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTI people.
A Hêvi LGBTI Initiative spokesman said: ‘We LGBTI people will continue our struggle against the homophobic-transphobic state and culture until this mentality collapses to create a world rid of hate where people like Roşin Çiçek live, where they can breathe freely, and where families do not kill their children.’