Turkish police riot units on Saturday dispersed a march of hundreds of people who were trying to celebrate, as the LGBT rights movement do every year, the “Istanbul Pride” in the center of Istanbul.
“The streets are ours” was the slogan of the call, which denounces the growing hostility in Turkey against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer and intersex people.
Police responded with tear gas and plastic bullets and made dozens of arrests, sometimes violently, reports Turkish daily Diken.
One of those detained was AFP photographer Bülent Kiliç, while covering the dispersal of the demonstration that had been banned, witnesses and press freedom advocates reported. AFP Istanbul called on the Turkish authorities to release its journalist.
The 19th İstanbul Pride March is held despite all bans:
“We want not only this street, but also the whole of Taksim, İstanbul and all cities and rurals. Bless your heart lubunya! Happy pride month!”
— bianet English (@bianet_eng) June 26, 2021
Since 2003, the Gay Pride Parade had been held festively and peacefully on Istiklal Street, with an influx of tens of thousands of people in 2014, the last year it was authorized.
The call has been banned since 2015, when it gathered thousands of people in the streets of the capital. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the conservatives who support him claim that such demonstrations violate “public morals.”
In the last year, the rainbow flag, a symbol of the gay community, has become the main public enemy of the Islamist and conservative sectors that support the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
-Thailand News (TN)