Once again, the Turkish authorities have banned the Pride Parade, but many people took to the streets this year to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. There were many arrests in Istanbul and Izmir.
According to the organizers, at least 40 people were arrested during this year’s Pride Parade in Istanbul, the Turkish metropolis. Several hundred people participated in the event.
In the western Turkish city of Izmir, police also cracked down on participants in the local Pride Parade, and, according to the organizers, at least 48 people were arrested.
In Istanbul, the police cordoned off large parts of the center before the demonstration even began to prevent the assembly. The participants ended up moving to a different part of the city. Last year, several hundred people were arrested during the Pride Parade in Istanbul.
The governor of Istanbul province, Davut Gül, had already announced beforehand that he would not allow events that “threaten the family.” Several events related to the so-called Pride Month to raise awareness of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ+) were banned, including a picnic and a movie screening.
Pride Parade Was Also Banned This Year
After a spectacular Pride Parade in Istanbul in 2014 with more than 100,000 participants, Turkish authorities have repeatedly banned the event in recent years, officially citing safety concerns. This year, they also prohibited the march.
In Turkey, representatives of the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often express open hostility towards LGBTQ+ people. The Turkish LGBTQ+ community fears increased pressure following Erdogan’s re-election.