For several years, Pride Week in Istanbul attracte.
Turkish police stopped activists from gathering in large numbers for a gay-pride event in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups defied the ban imposed by the governor. Police later intervened to stop a group of activists who gathered on side streets around the Cihangir neighborhood with water cannon vehicles, detaining another 24.
Police established checkpoints in the area of Istanbul’s central Taksim Square to blunt the spread of the rally, the AP reports.
Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said “an estimated 20 people” were detained after protesters ignored warnings to disperse because the march did not have a permit. Among those detained was also Bram Janssen, a photojournalist for the Associated Press, despite holding a press card but not carrying his passport with him. Video from the scene showed Bram Janssen being taken into a van by police officers.
I know that I personally have had conversations with people who have said the most vile things I’ve ever heard spoken out loud, and queer friends of mine have reported harassment in the streets and in bars.
Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week on Saturday said in a statement that Istanbul’s governor banned the event because “the application for the event has not been done properly”.
But in 2015 it was broken up by police, and was banned last year, and again this year after threats from the ultra-nationalist Alperen Hearths group.
“Nobody wants to feel dropped in a community that prides itself on diversity”, said Mike Basillas, one of the organizers of the planned New York City protest action by No Justice No Pride.
“We are not scared, we are here, we will not change“, they said in a statement on Sunday. They said they chose to “authorize” the arrests so the march could proceed after the activists had demonstrated for 10 minutes.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey – unlike in many Muslim nations – but homophobia remains widespread. The Turkish government says there is no discrimination against gays and that current laws already protect citizens. There’s no hate filled message that this Administration can put out there that’s going to take that away from us so we’ll resist, we’ll fight back – we have before. The NYC Pride March started in 1970 as a civil rights demonstration on the 1-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Thousands marched down Paseo de la Reforma for one of the largest gay pride events in Latin America.