Feb 25, 2023
Episode 101: Burak Yilmaz - If My Mother Never Left
Burak Yilmaz was thrown into Turkish prison in 2002. His crime?
Being a homosexual.
Burak had written a Sex in the City-style book about the gay community and his gay exploits in Islamic Turkey, hoping an anonymous pen name would keep him safe. Once the book hit bestseller, the Turkish government came looking.
After years of torture in prison, Burak was released. He immediately fled to New York, where he endured homelessness, sexual abuse, and racism while working to become a registered nurse. His new book, If My Mother Never Left, details his incredible journey from torture to freedom.
Burak Yilmaz was born and raised in Turkey. He always wanted to write, using it as an escape from the harsh reality of being forced to hide who and what he truly was. Life took a twist when Burak’s father discovered his son was gay. At just seventeen years old, Burak was thrown out into the streets and left to survive on his own in a society that didn’t want him. Instead of breaking, Burak summoned the depths of his strength and wrote his first book.
Burak published his first book at twenty-two years old. He wrote the book under the penname Devrim Yilmaz to protect himself from dangers that will come from writing such a book called Bir Escinselin Siradan Hikayesi (An Ordinary Story of a Homosexual) became an instant bestseller, earning him accolades and unwanted attention. Burak was arrested and tortured after completing a television interview. Again, Burak clung to his self and, after being released, managed to escape Turkey. His journey took him to the United States, where he currently resides.
Life seldom asks what we want, however. Burak worked as a model for erotic magazines, websites, and worked in some of the most popular nightclubs in New York City. It was a poison filled life, leaving him at the point of moral bankruptcy, depressed, and suicidal.
The light dawned on Burak after checking in to a rehab psychiatric facility and he turned his life around. After receiving his GED, he graduated from nursing school at NYU with honors and multiple scholarships. Now a successful Registered Nurse in critical care settings, Burak is pursuing his degree in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
Once again, Burak opened up the depths of his soul for the world to read. If my Mother Never Left, is detailing raw and emotional events after his first book.
Check out his book and story: "If My Mother Never Left," and his website: