A Turkish man identified as Fırat Delikanlı boasted about assaulting another person because he thought that they were gay, which lead to mass outrage on online platforms on March 25 days after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's withdrawal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention.
The president's midnight decree withdrawing Turkey from the convention was widely interpreted as a move to please Islamist circles who claimed the document encouraged homosexuality because it protects the rights of "all genders."
The government has since suggested that another treaty named the "Ankara Convention" will be created to protect women's rights, but experts are almost certain that the document will exclude LGBT rights, which foreshadows a possible plague of rights violations.
Anti-LGBT rhetoric has been prominent on the part of the government for months, with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu calling the LGBT community "perverted" and Erdoğan's ally Devlet Bahçeli saying the "LGBT-I" were terrorists.
The perpetrator's real name was reported to be Fırat Kaya, a convict of more than 30 violent crimes, and images of his assaults were shared on social media.
"The province is Aydın," Kaya said in a caption he placed on a photo of himself with an individual he assaulted and gave the survivor's name.
aydın’da, fırat delikanlı isimli homof*bik bir şahıs, escinsel olduğu gerekcesiyle isitme engelli engin elekçi isimli bir masumu agir bir şekilde darp ediyor ve yetmezmiş gibi darp ettikten sonra fotograflayip internette paylaşıyor. #FıratDelikanlıTutuklansın @pqueenn pic.twitter.com/YW9y0q4jXC— can efilti (@fazlatakmiyorum) March 25, 2021
"Anyone who openly targets LGBTIQ+ is complicit in the violence and discrimination they experience because of their gender identity or sexual orientation," said a tweet by the We Will Stop Femicides Platform.
Aydın'da Fırat Delikanlı olarak bilinen Fırat Kaya, E.E.'ye eşcinsel olması bahanesiyle ağır şiddet uyguladı.— Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (@KadinCinayeti) March 25, 2021
Cinsiyet kimliği ve cinsel yönelimi sebebiyle şiddete ve ayrımcılığa maruz kalan LGBTIQ+'ları hedef gösterenler suça ortaktır.#FıratDelikanlıTutuklansın pic.twitter.com/H2QSJiC9ra
Kaya's victim was deaf, social media users soon revealed, adding that the perpetrator had previously caused a deaf woman's hospitalization by physically assaulting her.
Some social media users found other videos of Kaya assaulting individuals, and said that he had a pattern of targeting deaf people, with famous singer Gülben Ergen sharing a video of him hitting a person who was visibly trying to sign words.
Kaya was arrested on March 25 after the Kocaeli Public Prosecutor's Office issued an arrest warrant for him.
Kaya reportedly beat the survivor, whom he knew, with four others on March 22, and the survivor said that he lost consciousness because of the blows he received.
The hashtag "Arrest Fırat Delikanlı" quickly became a trending topic on Twitter, with many users pointing to Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention as the context for Kaya's blatant attack.
President Erdoğan's withdrawal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention is a manifestation of the country's reluctance to prosecute violent crimes against women, evident in countless court rulings that failed to effectively punish perpetrators.