On July 15, 2008, Ahmet Yildiz (pictured), 26, and a student at the Department of Physics at Marmara University, was leaving his apartment, when he was shot five times and killed in the Üsküdar neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. He tried to flee the scene in his car, but soon crashed. His partner, Ibrahim Can, heard the shots, but arrived only in time to see Yildiz die. Yildiz was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police investigators quickly focused on Yildiz' father, Yahya Yildiz, 49, of Sanliurfa, Turkey, a deeply religious Kurd from a predominantly Kurdish part of Turkey. Ahmet Yildiz' cousin Ahmet Kaya, told the New York Times that when Yahya Yildiz' only son had come out to him, "Ahmets father had warned him to return to their village and to see a doctor and imam in order to cure him of his homosexuality and get married, but Ahmet refused." Soon after Ahmet Yildiz reported to police that he had been receiving death threats, but they did not pursue the case. Can later told the court that Yildiz' family had hacked into his computer and downloaded all his photos. Prosecutors believed that Yahya Yildiz travelled the 600 miles from his home to his son's to execute him in what has been described as Turkey's first reported gay honor killing. Records indicated that he rented a car and his cell phone logs place him in the area that day. The family refused to claim the body, which is generally the practice with honor killings. Yahya Yildiz became a fugitive believed to be hiding in northern Iraq. He was tried in absentia in September 2009.