In Turkey, gay men are exempt from serving in the military. But they have to go to great lengths to prove they are gay:
”They asked me when I first had anal intercourse, oral sex, what sort of toys I played with as a child.”
Ahmet, a young man in his 20s, told officials he was gay at the first opportunity after he was called up, as he and other conscripts underwent a health check.
“They asked me if I liked football, whether I wore woman’s clothes or used woman’s perfume,” he says.
”I had a few days’ beard and I am a masculine guy – they told me I didn’t look like a normal gay man.”
He was then asked to provide a picture of himself dressed as a woman.
”I refused this request,” he says. ”But I made them another offer, which they accepted.” Instead he gave them a photograph of himself kissing another man.
Ahmet hopes this will give him what he needs – a “pink certificate”, which will declare him homosexual and therefore exempt from military service.