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Syrian Gay Refugee Killed in İstanbul

Syrian gay refugee Muhammed Wisam Sankari has been found dead in Yenikapı district of İstanbul. Perpetrators of Sankari who was beheaded are yet to be caught. Sankari who was threatened, kidnapped by a crowded group of men and raped earlier was trying to flee to another country for his life safety.

In the wake of the homicide, Sankari’s housemates Rayan, Diya and Görkem have told Yıldız Tar from KaosGL.org of the difficulties Sankari had to endure, problems of LGBTİ refugees and immigrants in Turkey and their “Who is next” concerns.

“We have complained to Security, they did nothing”

Rayan who knew Sankari for over a year said, “He was very unsafe lately. He wasn’t telling much when we asked what is going on” and told that Sankari was threatened and kidnapped.

Rayan noted that they are having difficulties even walking home in Aksaray where they lives, a couple of times crowded group of men with knives threatened and tried to rape them. According to Rayan, what Sankari went through is as follows:

“We were staying at another house before this place but we had to leave it because we are gay. The neighboring people kept staring at us but we did nothing wrong. Five months ago, a group kidnapped Wisam in Fatih. They took him to a forestry by car, beat and raped him. They would kill him but Sankari managed to throw himself on the road and survived. We filed a complaint to the Security but nothing has come out of it”.

“We could recognize our friend from his trousers”

Görkem is a friend of Sankari and others and explained disappearance of Sankari and how they received his death knell in tears:

“Wisam left the house on July 30 Saturday. We were nervous because of the threats we were receiving. We told him to not go but he said he will go out to the street for about 15-20 minutes. He didn’t come home the whole night. We panicked when Wisam didn’t come the next day.

“Police called us on Sunday night. We went to Yenikapı with Rayan. They cut Wisam violently. It was so violent that two knives were broken inside him. They beheaded him, his upper body was in unrecognizable shape, his internal organs had come out. We recognized him from his trousers”.

“Who is next?”

Diya expressed that after Sankari’s killinn, they live in fear of “Who is next”:

“I am very scared. I feel as everyone is looking at me on the street. I was kidnapped too twice. No one takes care of us. Everybody just speaks. I receive threats on phone. I speak calmly so nothing bad will happen to me. It doesn’t matter whether Syrian or Turkish, if you are gay you are being targeted by everyone. They demand sex from you and stalk you if you don’t want it. I don’t even have an ID, who shall protect me for what? Who is next?” (YY/ÇT/TK)


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