Somewhere over the rainbow: Activist bids to become Turkey's first gay mayor
Can Cavusoglu is running to be mayor in a Turkish town, making him the first openly gay person to stand for office. Gay and human rights activists march during anti-government protests on Istiklal Street, the main shopping corridor on June 23, 2013 in Istanbul. (AFP)
Turkey, still recovering from the #occupyGezi movement and the government crack down on peaceful protesters, is in for another shake up in the upcoming mayoral elections.
43 year-old Can Cavusoglu will become the first openly gay candidate to stand for office in Turkey in the March 2014 elections, AFP reported, adding that he is running for mayor as an independent candidate in in Bulancak, a town of 60,000 people on the Black Sea.
The US-educated activist and Istanbul native wants to become the first gay mayor in majority-Muslim Turkey, where homosexuality is not illegal but remains a taboo outside urban centers, AFP reported.
Cavusoglu describes himself as a gay activist who also campaigns for women’s rights, and “a thinker, painter, writer” who hopes to attract American investment to the town if elected.
Turkey, an aspiring candidate for EU membership, has witnessed a significant relaxing towards its attitudes towards homosexuality over the last few years.
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