Turkish police prevent Istanbul Pride – Reuters.com

ISTANBUL, June 26 (Reuters) – Turkish police blocked hundreds of people from gathering at the annual pride parade in Istanbul on Sunday and detained dozens after local authorities banned the march again this year.

Thousands of people once attended pride marches on Istanbul’s main Istiklal Avenue, but in recent years a government led by President Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party has tightened its stance on LGBTQ + freedom.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but hostility towards it is widespread, and the police showdown of the parade has intensified over the years.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

On Sunday, police in riot gear blocked access to Taksim Square and blocked many streets in the nearby Cihangir district, where people tried to gather. Public transport in the area has also been stopped.

Local authorities in the Beyoglu district banned all Pride Week events between June 20th and 26th, saying they could lead to public unrest due to society’s sensitivity.

The Istanbul Bar Association said peaceful demonstrations could not be banned.

Small groups of people with rainbow and transgender flags gathered briefly where they could on Sunday and chanted slogans before police dispersed and chased them through the streets, forcibly detaining some.

“Discrimination is a crime, it is not a debt,” chanted one group, while some others read statements marking Pride Week.

Last year, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu called some students “LGBT deviants”, while Erdogan praised his party’s youth wing for not being “LGBT youth”.

Students from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara have been prosecuted for participating in pride marches at universities, but have been acquitted.

A trial is underway for Istanbul students at Bogazici University over an image that combines Islamic images and rainbow flags displayed during an art exhibition on campus.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Umit Bektas, Bulent Usta and Ali Kucukgocmen, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Our standards: Principles of trust of Thomson Reuters.

#Turkish #police #prevent #Istanbul #Pride #Reuterscom

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.