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Content about Turkey

February 25, 2014

Man confesses to killing a 29-year-old trans woman, burying her in a vineyard where he worked, and stealing her valuables and fleeing to Serbia

A man has admitted to shooting his trans girlfriend in the chest in Turkey.

Police discovered the 29-year-old body of Sevdar Başar yesterday (24 February), buried in a vineyard in the southeastern city of Antep.

She was only discovered when her boyfriend Ethem Orhan, who had fled to Serbia with her valuables, confessed to the crime.

He admitted to promising her with marriage and a future, before beating her and shooting her with a hunting rifle and burying her in the vineyard he worked at last week.

February 6, 2014

Prolific writers such as Neil Gaiman, Salmon Rushdie and Margaret Atwood signed a letter callling for the repeal of gay propaganda laws

More than 200 leading authors have spoken out to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws as a ‘chokehold’ on free speech.

Prolific writers such as Salmon Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood signed the open letter calling for the gay propaganda ban in Russia to be repealed.

February 4, 2014

A 30-year-old Libyan Muslim man with a history of instability has been arrested over an attempted New Years Eve arson attack on a Seattle, Washington gay bar but the incident does not appear to have been a hate crime

30-year-old Libyan US resident Musab Mohamed Musmari has been arrested over a New Years Eve incident where 750 people were forced to flee Seattle’s Neighbours night club to escape a fire.

Musmari, who also uses the surname Masmari, was caught Saturday preparing to flee the country on a one-way ticket to Turkey.

December 31, 2013

Homofin is even encouraging mothers to mix the drug secretly in their suspected gay sons’ food

A pill claiming to ‘cure’ you of being gay in just eight months is being openly marketed online, Gay Star News can reveal.

Marketed online in Turkey, Homofin claims the ‘herbal’ treatment influences your hormones saying: ‘It is now up to you to be or not to be a homosexual.’

Homofin’s site even encourages a mother, who is worried her son may be gay but does not want to raise the issue with him, to buy the capsules and secretly dissolve the drug in his food.

November 20, 2013

For Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember the horrific tragedies that led to the deaths of trans victims worldwide

When you hear that 238 trans people have been killed this year, including 11 children, it’s a horrific number.

But it’s more than a number. It is 238 people just like you who have lost their lives to intolerance, to hatred, and to fear.

When we sit and remember these victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance today (20 November), we must remember these people had hopes and dreams.

And most importantly, they had futures.

Below is a list of the men and women identified by the Trans Murder Monitoring Project.

October 9, 2013

In the latest crackdown of the LGBT community, an information blog has been shut down after a complaint was made to the Turkish government

Turkey has shut down a transgender support site in its latest crackdown of the LGBT community.

Transsick-o, an information blog for trans men, was censored by the Turkish government yesterday (8 October), according to the main LGBT association KAOS GL.

According to the LGBT rights group, it was shut down by the Presidency of Telecommunication over an ‘administrative measure’.

October 8, 2013

Oiled muscles and brute strength make Turkish oil wrestling, the centuries-old national sport, one of the most challenging and homoerotic activities in the world

Out of all the world's national sports (Chile has rodeo, Pakistan has cricket and Japan has sumo wrestling) Turkish oil wrestling may be one of the most visually appealing sports for gay men around the world.

Turkey's national sport has existed and excited for thousands of years, tracing its origin back to the ancient Ottoman empire.

The sport is one of the most physically demanding around, as wrestlers must use their strength and tact to wriggle around and eventually dominate their opponent.

September 25, 2013

Joel Simkhai says ‘freedom to communicate is a basic right and Grindr is exploring all options to resolve this matter including a legal appeal'

Gay dating app Grindr is considering threatening legal action over its ban in Turkey.

Earlier this month, the app was blocked by Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace as a ‘protection measure’.

Joel Simkhai, the founder and CEO of Grindr, told The Independent they were considering how to respond to the ban.

They believe around 125,000 Turkish gay users are no longer able to use the hook-up app.

September 24, 2013

Gay Star News speaks to Turkey's first openly gay mayoral candidate Can Çavuşoğlu to learn about the 43-year-old's motivations, campaign platforms and chances at winning the mayoral seat

Last week Gay Star News reported 43-year-old Can Çavuşoğlu announced he was running for mayor of Bulancak, Turkey.

The Istanbul native could become the country's first openly gay mayor in office.

Though homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, the LGBT community has no legal protections against discrimination in the Muslim-majority country.

September 24, 2013

Gay Star News speaks to Turkey's first openly gay mayoral candidate Can Çavuşoğlu to learn about the 43-year-old's motivations, campaign platforms and chances at winning the mayoral seat

Last week Gay Star News reported 43-year-old Can Çavuşoğlu announced he was running for mayor of Bulancak, Turkey.

The Istanbul native could become the country's first openly gay mayor in office.

Though homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, the LGBT community has no legal protections against discrimination in the Muslim-majority country.

September 18, 2013

Turkish LGBT group KAOS GL says Grindr ban is sign of government interference in their lives

Gay dating app Grindr is asking members to try to overturn a ban on its service in Turkey.

Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace blocked Grindr as a ‘protection measure’ on 11 September although GSN sources in the country claim other gay dating and sex hook-up apps still work in Turkey.

September 18, 2013

Amnesty International has released a 16-page report condemning the European Union for failing to enforce laws that protect sexual orientation and gender identity in member states

Amnesty International has accused the European Union of failing to address homophobia and transphobia in member states.

The international human rights organization has released a 16-page report that names and shames EU member states  Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Latvia and neighboring non-EU states Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Macedonia and Montenegro, all of whose laws insufficiently protect against the discrimination, physical assault or of murder of LGBT people.

September 16, 2013

Can Çavuşoğlu has received mixed reactions as he announced his candidacy to become the first openly gay mayor in the majority Muslim nation

43-year-old gay man Can Çavuşoğlu hopes to become the first openly gay mayor in Turkey.

The Istanbul-native announced this weekend his bid for mayor of Bulancak, a Black Sea town with a population of about 60,000 according to Agence France Presse. Local elections are scheduled to take place March 2014.

September 12, 2013

Hookup app says it was created in order to facilitate communication in countries where the LGBT community is oppressed

Gay dating app Grindr has said they are ‘very upset’ over being banned in Turkey.

GSN reported yesterday (11 September) users were unable to get onto the website, app, and database.

According to gay rights group KAOS GL, Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace blocked the app as a ‘protection measure.’

In a statement made to Gay Star News, a Grindr spokesman said they were ‘very upset’ over the action.

September 11, 2013

Hook-up app and website for gay and bisexual men is blocked by the Criminal Court as a 'protection measure'

Turkey has banned, censored and blocked the gay dating app Grindr, it was revealed today (11 September).

The online database and website are inaccessible in the country from yesterday evening, according to the main Turkish LGBT association KAOS GL.

According to the gay rights group, Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace blocked the app as a ‘protection measure’.

A user attempting to access the hookup website received a message stating the Telecommunications Communication Presidency had implemented the measure.

August 15, 2013

Turkey’s Constitutional Consensus Committee agreed Monday that sexual orientation be added to a section of a draft new constitution – which if passed would make it only the second Muslim country to protect sexual minorities

Turkey looks set to join Albania as one of only two majority Muslim nations to protect sexual minorities from discrimination after its Constitutional Consensus Committee agreed sexual orientation should be added to a section of a new draft constitution.

July 10, 2013

A woman, believed to have been a sex worker, was killed in her own home in the seaside province of Kusadasi

A 24-year-old trans woman was stabbed to death in her own home in Turkey last night (9 July).

Dora Oezer, she was found dead by her housemate in the western seaside province of Kusadasi.

Police are now searching for her murderer, her death the latest in a long line of transphobic violence.

Media in Turkey have claimed Oezer was a prostitute, saying CCTV cameras had caught ‘many people coming in and out’ of the house.

July 1, 2013

Tens of thousands people joined Istanbul gay pride, including Gezi park protestors in a march of unity and solidarity demanding change 

LGBT rights activists and demonstrators were joined by Gezi Park protestors in an unprecedented show of unity and solidarity at Istanbul’s gay pride.

KAOS GL, Turkey’s main LGBT rights organization, estimated tens of thousands joined pride from previous protests against the demolition of Istanbul's Gezi Park, which turned into a nation wide pro-democracy movement.

June 29, 2013

A Turkish man who murdered his son for being gay pleaded guilty but said it was ‘an accident’

A man who killed his son for being gay in the Kurdish province of Diyarbakır, Turkey, pleaded guilty but said it was ‘an accident.’

The father was charged, along with his two brothers, with the murder of his 17 year-old son, known by initials R.Ç., in a trial has been ungoing for over a year.

June 24, 2013

Turkey’s 4th annual transgender pride march turned into a march protesting the planned demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park and the marchers were joined by politicians from the main opposition party

Turkey’s transgender community held its 4th annual pride march along Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue yesterday, but the event turned into a protest in solidarity with the Gezi Park protesters and marchers were reportedly applauded by bystanders.

June 24, 2013

Turkey’s 4th annual transgender pride march turned into a march protesting the planned demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park and the marchers were joined by politicians from the main opposition party

Turkey’s transgender community held its 4th annual pride march along Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue yesterday, but the event turned into a protest in solidarity with the Gezi Park protesters and marchers were reportedly applauded by bystanders.

June 17, 2013

Turkish police has bashed a gay activist as he takes aid to Istanbul protestors, while three others have been detained and verbally abused

A peaceful gay activist has been pushed to the ground and beaten by Turkish police at an anti-government protest in Istanbul.

And three other LGBT protestors have been reported to have been verbally abused by the riot police who targeted them because of their sexuality.

All four are part of Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park protest that started in Turkey on 28 May.

The protests were sparked by outrage at a brutal eviction of a peaceful sit-in at the park protesting against its demolition.

May 17, 2013

Finland’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest Krista Siegfrids due to kiss one of her dancers at the end of her act in the finals on 18 May but censors may stop her

Gay digital activists All Out are urging the Eurovison Song Contest bosses not to stop a lesbian kiss at the finals tomorrow (18 May).

If the kiss goes ahead, at the end of Finland’s entry, Marry Me, by Krista Siegfrids, it will be the first of its kind since the pan-European TV extravaganza started in 1956.

It will also be seen by 100 million people around the world.

May 8, 2013

Gay Star News talks to Miyuki Baker about her world travels in search of queer artists and activists

What are the queer communities like in South America compared to Australia? Singapore compared to India? South Korea to Turkey? Recent college graduate Miyuki Baker is finding out by traveling the world in search of queer artists and activists, like herself.

After graduating from Pennsylvania-based liberal arts college Swarthmore, Baker won a $25,000 (US dollars, €19,000) Watson Fellowship that allows her to travel the world pursuing a particular project.