Gay couple faces threats after symbolic wedding

Gay couple faces threats after symbolic wedding

Fırat Alkaç ISTANBUL
Gay couple faces threats after symbolic wedding

Keser and Tüzün, both Turkish citizens, wed on an Istanbul ferry late in September. The wedding was symbolic and had no legal significance, as same-sex marriage is not legal in Turkey.

An Arab and Kurdish-origin gay couple, who had tied the knot in an open wedding in late September in Istanbul, have lost their jobs, been evicted from their home and face death threats from family members.

Ekin Keser, who is of Arab origin, and Emrullah Tüzün, who was born in Turkey’s eastern province of Batman and is of Kurdish origin, said they were facing serious threats from their families and those around them.

“My family and siblings threaten me with death. When our wedding was featured in the news, our family and friends began rejecting us,” said Tüzün, 28, adding their landlord evicted them after the wedding.

“I used to work as a waiter in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district. When the threats increased, my boss learned about the situation and I was laid off. Ekin is not working, as he is an undergraduate student. I was the only breadwinner, but I lost my job,” said Emrullah.

Ekin and Emrullah, both Turkish citizens, had wed on an Istanbul ferry late September making the wedding public, though it had no legal significance. According to the civil code in Turkey, same sex marriage is not allowed.

Ekin, 21, said he received death threats through social media and fears going to his classes.

“We have received the biggest reaction from our families. My family knew that I was homosexual, but they reacted against my marriage,” said Keser.

Stating that around 95 percent of their friends had congratulated them, Ekin said all they wanted was their family and the people around them to leave them in peace.