Today on Alphabet City: A tragic “honor” killing in Turkey reminds Jon Paul of his trouble in Istanbul with a gay hustler while on tour with Tyra.
Last week as I was beginning to cook the big Thanksgiving meal and make final preparations for my Spit List, I came across an article in the New York Times about a man named Ahmet Yildiz who was brutally killed in Istanbul by his father for being gay. The reporter and sociologists refer to it as an “honor” killing—which I find horrific and gruesome. The premise of the article is that modern Turkey is battling fundamentalist Islamic ideology as can be seen in acceptance of cross-dressing pop-stars but murders of gay men.
I must admit that I had lulled myself into believing that things must have progressed for gays and lesbians in the metropolis of Istanbul since I visited many years ago with Tyra Banks. I thought it was daring then that I ventured out to find exotic gay nightlife, and would up in a heap of trouble. But nothing as tragic as Mr. Yildiz. As an American, I was able to return to a land where I might not be able to marry my partner, but I at least feel free from being hunted down by a family member justifying their action in the name of “honor.”
If it were still Thanksgiving, I’d add “Honor Killings” to my Spit List. In the meantime, I offer up an excerpt of the story about an experience in Istanbul that caused me years of shame.
CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from Episode 7: Turkey Trouble.