Halil Ibrahim Dincdag

Halil Ibrahim Dincdag

A referee from Turkey’s Black Sea region who was fired for being gay by the Turkish Football Federation in 2009 is fighting to reclaim his job.

After 14 years, Halil Ibrahim Dincdag’s career came to an end when he told the army that he is gay, leading him to be diagnosed with a “psychosexual disorder”.

This not only barred him from compulsory military service but also led to his dismissal because the federation won’t employ anyone who’s been barred from the military due to “health” reasons.

The incident also forced him to go public to defend himself. “People threatened to kill me because according to them I stained the honour of the Black Sea region,” Dincdag told in an interview.

“I received threats to wound me, suggestions that I should leave the country. But still I went on TV and I told the whole country that the gay referee was me and that I was determined to get my rights. That was how my family learned about my homosexuality. I especially felt sorry for my mom. But she was very supportive.”

He went on to say: “You would be surprised at the number of gay soccer players in Turkey. But I refuse to give names. Why would I ruin their lives? This is something cultural here: People say boys play soccer, girls do sewing. No, girls can also play soccer and boys can sew. This is an imposition of the patriarchal society.”

The 36-year-old said that his suit again the football federation has dragged on for almost four years, during which time he has been jobless. But he is positive that he will win his case at the final hearing set for December.

“Soccer is my source of life. And I have been away from it for the last four years. And now if I go back to stadiums and the hooligans shout ‘faggot referee,’ I will turn and say, ‘Yes, I am. You have a problem with it?’ he said.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey but there is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships and LGBT people still face widespread social and legal discrimination.

A recent global survey found that 78% of people in the predominantly Muslim country believe that homosexuality is unacceptable.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Latest Comments
  1. issam bellàaouissi
    Reply -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend