İstanbul Pride: At least 35 LGBT activists detained throughout Sunday

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At least 35 LGBT activists were detained on Sunday for attempting to hold a pride march in İstanbul’s famed Taksim square to mark one of the largest organized gay festivals in Turkey.

Turkish media outlets and several pro-LGBT twitter accounts reported that police fired plastic bullets at a group of around 40 activists and heavy police presence stopped people from entering Istiklal Street, where the rally was scheduled to start.

According to the Hürriyet daily, at least 35 people have been detained and among them was Bram Janssen, an AP reporter covering the attempted march. This number, according to Sözcü, is 44.

On Saturday, the İstanbul Governor’s Office banned an LGBTI pride parade scheduled to take place in Taksim on June 25, citing security and public order concerns.

“The application for the parade was not properly submitted to our office in accordance with Law 2911. There is also serious criticism of this parade from various segments of society on social media,” said the statement issued by the governor’s office.

“In line with our assessment, and taking into consideration the safety of residents and tourists in the area as well as public order, it will not be permitted to hold the parade or to gather and protest on that day, before that day or after that day.”

The organizing committee for LGBTI pride week reacted to the decision of the Istanbul Governor’s Office, saying banning the march contravenes international conventions, Turkish law and the constitution.

 




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