Monthly Archives: June 2015

13th Istanbul LGBTI Pride Parade Under Brutal Police Violence

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.

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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
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/28/istanbul-gay-pride-police_n_7681324.html?1435522822

A video by a random citizen where people try to celebrate Pride in side streets escaping from police brutality: https://vimeo.com/132080319

Press Statement By LGBTI Pride Week Committee

Despite opposition, European Parliament votes for LGBTI rights in EU Gender equality strategy

In a landmark vote, the European Parliament has demanded to include LGBTI rights in a future EU gender equality strategy.

EP

The current strategy for equality between women and men runs out at the end of this year. The report voted yesterday, is the Parliament’s input for the gender equality strategy 2016-2020.

Specifically on LGBTI issues, the parliament

  • Asks to ensure the full legal recognition of a person’s preferred gender, which is vital for trans and intersex persons (par. 24) and to work towards full depathologisation of trans identities, including in childhood (par. 55);
  • Demands an inclusive definition of families, including families with LGBT parents in labour and family law (par. 31);
  • Calls on the Commission to tackle prejudice against LGBTI persons in schools (par. 61)
  • Furthermore, the Parliament reiterates its call to adopt a separate strategy on LGBTI rights. It also calls on the Council to adopt a Directive that would outlaw discrimination on the basis of inter alia sexual orientation, in education, social protection and access to goods and services (par. 2).

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, commented: “The message of the Parliament is clear: It is time for the Commission to take leadership on gender equality and LGBTI rights.”

“The attempt by EPP and ECR to delete all LGBTI content shows just how out of touch they have become with today’s society. Thankfully, the Parliament rejected their attempts, and voted in favour of the original report.”

All LGBTI content was threatened by an alternative resolution as well as numerous split and separate votes, demanded by the conservative and right-wing groups EPP and ECR.

Maria Noichl MEP, author of the report and Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Misogyny, homophobia and transphobia are still widespread in Europe, and there is a lot that the EU still needs to do to make equality a reality.”

“I am very glad that the Parliament affirmed its full commitment to gender equality and LGBTI rights. It is now up to the Commission to ensure that the final strategy reflects this progressive input.”