REYHANLI, Turkey — Can Cavusoglu, a Turkish activist, has launched a campaign as the nation's first openly gay mayoral candidate, according to Turkey's Hurriyet.
Cavusoglu announced a bid to run in the Black Sea town of Bulancak, home to about 60,000, in the March 2014 local elections, said Agence-France Press.
The 43-year-old, who was born in Istanbul and educated in the United States, describes himself as a “gay, activist, writer, thinker, painter, humanist and women rights activist," said Hurriyet.
He will be running as an independent candidate.
“The international values I possess, the representation skills and governmental accounting can be found only in a few people,” he said on Thursday, when he announced the bid, according to Hurriyet.
Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, but discrimination remains a problem. As recently as 2008, the death of young, openly gay Ahmet Yildiz was seen as the country's first reported gay honor killing, according to The New York Times.