Ousted gay referee seeks reinstatement in Turkey

May 31, 2011 16:19

ISTANBUL - A former Turkish soccer referee who says he was forced out of the football federation two years ago because of his homosexuality pleaded to be reinstated at an Istanbul court on Tuesday.

Halil Ibrahim Dincdag, 35, has accused the Turkish Football Federation of passing documents to the media showing he was exempted from compulsory military service because of his sexual orientation, which in turn led to death threats.

The case is being closely followed by rights groups and has attracted much attention in Turkey, where homosexuals are excluded from the military, although many hide their sexuality and complete military service due to fears of social prejudice.

"I have been unable to find a job since my name hit the headlines. I have received threats, and have lost hope of earning my own living," Dincdag told Reuters.

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