Riot police break up LGBT march in Istanbul

By MiNDFOOD

LGBT rights activists wave rainbow flags during a transgender pride parade which was banned by the governorship, in central Istanbul. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
LGBT rights activists wave rainbow flags during a transgender pride parade which was banned by the governorship, in central Istanbul. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Riot police have used teargas and rubber pellets on LBGT demonstrators in Istanbul after a march was banned because of threats from ultranationalists.

Authorities banned LBGT marches during the holy month of Ramadan because of security concerns.

Yesterday hundreds of riot police cordoned off Taksim Square, in the heart of Istanbul, to prevent the Trans Pride rally taking place.

A spokeswoman for the demonstrators said it was discrimination.

“Football fans can rally in this country whenever they want. We were going to do a peaceful activity. [The] holy month of Ramadan is an excuse. If you are going to respect Ramadan, respect us too. The heterosexuals think it’s too much for us, only two hours in 365 days,” Ebru Kırancı said.

Istanbul’s annual gay pride parade, often thought to be the biggest event of its kind in the Muslim world, was due to take place on June 26.

Gay pride parades have been held in Istanbul for 13 years, but last year’s march was broken up by police.

 

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