Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week completed its 23rd edition last Sunday. The Pride Parade which has been annually held since its first edition in 2003 is the final celebration of a week long pride week inIstanbul. This year, the 13th LGBTI Pride Parade was attacked bypolice forces at the command of the Governorate of Istanbul
The ever since peaceful and colorful march of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans*, Intersex, and their allies was brutally attacked by the police forces using tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, and allowing violent Islamo-fascist groups with bats, knives, etc. to scare off Pride participants. The command was given by the Governorate of Istanbul who arbitrarily banned the Pride Parade at the very last moment without even informing the organizers. The reason brought into agenda is Ramadan.
The Islamo-fascist newspapers such as Yeni Akit, Vahdet, Milat, and a couple of wider mainstream media organs such as Star, Sabah, etc have been publishing a series of targeting, hate motivatedarticles and news about the Pride Parade and LGBTI organizations, activists as “perverts”, “deviated people”, “honor-less act in Ramadan”, etc.
The police attack started at around 16:30 (half an hour before the parade should have been taking place). The heavy use of water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets even inside of the places where participants wanted to secure themselves, caused several injuries. The police attack continued at night during the Pride Week Closure Party in The Mekan. Many people inside the arena were heavily effected by the intense tear gas thrown inside through the terrace.
LGBTI organizations and LGBTI Pride Week Committee published a declaration protesting against this unacceptable situation. You may find it in the attached file.
Kaos GL, TIHV (Turkey Human Rights Foundation), and IHD (Human Rights Association) declared their support and offered legal consultancy to every injured participant of the Pride Parade in order to bring all these cases into court to seek justice.
The LGBTI organizations, the Pride Committee, and the activists will have a meeting today in Istanbul at 18:00 to discuss about the situation and how to proceed.
Couple of international allies organizing demos today in front of Turkish Embassies and Consulates (Berlin, Stockholm, etc.), also.
There has also been online hate speech and targeting campaign against some of the participants whose photos are in circulation in the internet. The videos and photos of 3 trans women who protested (or just felt like) being naked are in circulation, yet. There has been some horrible calls from both within the trans community and others to execute these people. The movement is also trying to calm all these aggressions, right now.
News links of international media: https://news.vice.com/article/turkish-police-use-water-cannons-rubber-bullets-and-tear-gas-on-gay-pride-parade
A video by a random citizen where people try to celebrate Pride in side streets escaping from police brutality: https://vimeo.com/132080319