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Cristiano Ronaldo Meets His Turkish Impersonator and #1 Fan: VIDEO


Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo met Gokmen, Akdogan, a 23-year-old man who makes a living impersonating Ronaldo, in a strange and funny moment after a match on Tuesday in Istanbul, Yahoo reports:

Akdogan (below), who also plays semi-professionally for lower-league side Seyhanspor, makes it his business to dress like Ronaldo, have his hair cut like Ronaldo... and apparently he even takes his free-kicks like Ronaldo. And the facial similarity is there for all to see.

Both men were all smiles when they met after Tuesday's match - a meeting which appears to have been engineered by Turkish TV - with Gokmen understandably delighted at meeting his idol, having previously said it would be a "dream" to shake the big man's hand.

One place where they don't measure up is height though - the Real Deal is a good three or four inches taller than his lookalike.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Dutch Lesbian Couple Hides As Foster Son's Turkish Parents Demand Return

TCustody2There may be an international incident brewing in The Hague, Netherlands, where a lesbian couple raising a Turkish foster son have gone into hiding to avoid returning the son to the biological parents from whose care he was ordered removed (pictured).

According to NPR, the 9 year-old boy, Yunus, was a baby living in The Netherlands with his Turkey-born parents when child services removed him from their care. Two other children were also meant to be removed but the parents took them back to Turkey before child services could intervene.

Now, as Turkish politicians rally against the concept of same-sex parents raising Muslim children, Yunus' parents are calling for his return, a call that comes just as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares for an official trip to The Netherlands.

While hardliners back home want Erdogan to fight for Yunus' return, his government doesn't really want to get involved, particularly because Yunus' placement with the couple was an official child service's decision. From NPR:

Lodewijk Asscher, the Dutch vice prime minister, told reporters Friday that the issue is an internal Dutch matter and that political interference from Turkey is "inappropriate."

Child social services in The Hague said there was no specific threat against Yunus or his foster parents, but he has been kept home from school as a precaution since the interview aired.

The Hague Youth Services Agency has decided it is better for Yunus and his foster parents "to stay at another address for a time, partly in connection with the visit of the prime minister next week," spokeswoman Tanja van Dijk said in a telephone interview with national broadcaster NOS. "For safety, and also because of the quiet that both Yunus and his foster parents of course now need."

Asscher also praised the lesbian couple for raising a child that was "in danger" in his biological parents' care. "People who are willing to take care of somebody else's child deserve our admiration," he said.

Turkish Army Won't Accept Gays, But Requires Humiliating Proof That You Are One

Openly gay men are not welcome in the Turkish army. However, a recruit must go through a humiliating process to prove he is gay, the BBC reports:

Turkisharmy"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.

Another man, Gokhan, went prepared with explicit photographs of himself

''The face must be visible,'' says Gokhan. ''And the photos must show you as the passive partner.''

The photographs satisfied the military doctors. Gokhan was handed his pink certificate and exempted from military service. But it was a terrible experience, he says, ''And it's still terrible. Because somebody holds those photographs. They can show them at my village, to my parents, my relatives.''

Proving you're gay to the Turkish army [bbc]

New Film Sheds Light on Plight of Gays, 'Honor Killing' in Turkey: VIDEO


Many of you may recall that in 2008 I wrote about Ahmet Yildiz, a 26-year-old gay man who lived proudly and openly in Istanbul, and was shot to death leaving a cafe near the Bosphorus Strait.

YildizYildiz was the victim of an 'honor killing' by his family, and now his friends have made a film about it which is opening in Turkey, CNN reports:

Court records identify Yildiz's father, Yahya, as the primary suspect in the killing. The father's motive, according to a copy of the indictment, was that he "did not accept the victim to be in a gay relationship." More than three years after the slaying, Yildiz's father is a fugitive, still wanted by Turkish police. The death has since been widely referred to as Turkey's first gay honor killing. One of the main characters in "Zenne" is based on Ahmet Yildiz and his tragic story.

Caner Alper, the writer and other co-director of "Zenne," was also a friend of Yildiz's. Alper said before he died, Yildiz often spoke about receiving death threats from his family, who were trying to "cure" him of his homosexuality. Court documents show Yildiz reported these death threats to the Turkish authorities.

The filmmakers hope to shed light on anti-gay hate crimes. Mehmet Binay, the producer, and Alper are a couple of 14 years.

Watch CNN's report on the film and the film's trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NEWS: Herman Cain's Devolving Views, The Quake, The Islamists, And A Big, Hairy Gubernatorial Candidate

Road Herman Cain now supports federal marriage ban ...

Road ... and did you know he came to Washington as a lobbyist?

Mr. Cain ran the National Restaurant Association, a once-sleepy trade group that he transformed into a lobbying powerhouse. He allied himself closely with cigarette makers fighting restaurant smoking bans, spoke out against lowering blood-alcohol limits as a way to prevent drunken driving, fought an increase in the minimum wage and opposed a patients’ bill of rights — all in keeping with the interests of the industry he represented.

Road Up-to-the-minute reporting on the Turkish quake.

Road Koch-brothers fund study that proves global warming is ... real!

Road Rick Perry's weird love affair: Man, son, daughter, and arsenal.  

"I wish my son and my daughter were here with us today,” he said. "They would truly enjoy this, but from my perspective that’s part of America is walking across that hillside with one of your children hunting whatever it might be ... "

Road Awesome story on Haruki Murakami and his massive new book, 1Q84.

RupertBoneham Road Survivor's Rupert Boneham will run for the governorship of Indiana.

Road Dlisted covers the monarchy with appropriate subtlety and tact: Michael K on the romantic misadventures of "Prince Hot Ginge."

Road More context on Libyan religious craziness.

Road The USA isn't doomed! According to the Telegraph, "The 21st Century may be American after all." That is, if we're willing to frack.

Road Home release deets for Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part II.

Road P.Z. Myers and Lavender ponder the friendly relations between atheists and LGBTs.

Road Also: There is no such thing as pink.


Scenes From The Turkish Earthquake


AFTER THE JUMP, disturbing footage from the immediate aftermath of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that devastated Eastern Turkey today, toppling at least 25 apartment buildings, a student dormitory, a "health services" building, and part of a hospital in the lakeside town of Ercis, and several large buildings in downtown Van, the provincial capital.

Continue reading "Scenes From The Turkish Earthquake" »


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