GLIFAA in June honored Boysan Yakar, left, a Turkish LGBT rights advocate, during its annual Pride celebration at the State Department. Yakar is among the five people who died in a car accident in western Turkey on Sept. 5, 2015. (Photo courtesy of State Department)
Two Turkish LGBT rights advocates died on Saturday in a car accident in the western part of the country.
LGBTI News Turkey reported that Boysan Yakar of Lambda Istanbul and Zeliş Deniz were among the five people who lost their lives in the accident involving three cars that took place in the town of Gelibolu, which is on the Dardanelles Strait that connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
Hurriyet, a Turkish newspaper, reported the accident took place around 6 p.m. local time on a highway that runs between the province in which Gelibolu is located and Istanbul. LGBTI News Turkey said Yakar was driving one of the cars involved in the incident.
GLIFAA, an association of LGBT employees of Foreign Service agencies, in June honored Yakar during the State Department’s annual Pride celebration. Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom was among those who spoke at the event.
“If you don’t stand up for your rights, no one’s going to take care of you,” said Yakar after GLIFAA honored him.
Yakar’s funeral is scheduled to take place on Monday.
“We have seen reports of Mr. Yakar’s passing and offer our condolences to his family and loved ones,” a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Blade on Sunday. “Mr. Yakar was an important LGBT advocate in Turkey and a friend of our consulate general in Istanbul.”
LGBTI News Turkey and Kaos GL, a Turkish LGBT advocacy group, also extended their condolences to Yakar and Deniz’s loved ones.
The Blade will provide additional information as it becomes available.