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ZENNE DANCER: The true story of Ahmet Yildiz

“ZENNE DANCER” is the first feature film of directors M.Caner Alper and Mehmet Binay inspired by the true story of Ahmet YILDIZ, who was murdered for being gay at the age 26 by his own father in 2008 opens in Theaters across Turkey.

CNN reports:

“The starting point was a dear friend of ours who was murdered in 2008 for being gay by his own father,” said Mehmet Binay, producer and co-director of “Zenne,” which opens in theaters across Turkey on Friday.

Binay was referring to the 2008 killing of Ahmet Yildiz, a 26-year old physics student who was gunned down in Istanbul.

Court records identify Yildiz’s father, Yahya, as the primary suspect in the killing. The father’s motive, according to a copy of the indictment, was that he “did not accept the victim to be in a gay relationship.”

More than three years after the slaying, Yildiz’s father is a fugitive, still wanted by Turkish police.

The death has since been widely referred to as Turkey’s first gay honor killing.

Read the full article via CNN

About the film:

“ZENNE DANCER” is the story of a trio of unlikely friends: AHMET – a boy from eastern Turkey born into a repressively conservative family; CAN (Djan) – a flamboyant male belly dancer (Zenne) nurtured by a loving and fiercely protective mother; and DANIEL – a wounded German war photographer who chances upon these interesting yet contrasting boys in Istanbul, a city bidding to become the ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2008. Throughout the film, the audience is exposed to the humiliations endured by gays who are banned from serving in the Turkish army on the grounds that they are “sexually deviant” and therefore unfit to serve. Yet in order to be exempted, gays are required to provide photographs showing themselves engaged in passive sexual intercourse with a male partner. Some are forced to undergo invasive anal examinations in order to prove that they are gay. As the story unfolds, the audience also learns about Daniel’s scarring experiences in war-torn Afghanistan. Daniel’s western outlook inadvertently accelerates Ahmet’s looming death. Can’s fury and anguish find an outlet in his eerily graceful yet oddly asexual dances that punctuate the film.

“ZENNE DANCER” is expected to be released at cinemas across Turkey from January 13th, 2012.

Watch the trailer

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