Istanbul gay pride supported by tens of thousands of Gezi park protestors

Tens of thousands people joined Istanbul gay pride, including Gezi park protestors in a march of unity and solidarity demanding change 

Istanbul gay pride supported by tens of thousands of Gezi park protestors
01 July 2013

LGBT rights activists and demonstrators were joined by Gezi Park protestors in an unprecedented show of unity and solidarity at Istanbul’s gay pride.

KAOS GL, Turkey’s main LGBT rights organization, estimated tens of thousands joined pride from previous protests against the demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which turned into a nation wide pro-democracy movement.

The peaceful and festive participants were reported to have been stopped yesterday (30 June) by Turkish riot police from entering Taksim Square, which became the focal point over the last weeks for the peaceful demonstrations.

The parade marched through Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue, with participants carrying a giant rainbow flag, and in an unprecedented show of unity, held banners demanding justice, and LGBT rights in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Arabic (representing mostly the Alawite communities in Turkey).

Some banners criticizing former Family Minister Aliye Kavaf for saying homosexuality was like a disesase. Other banners highlighted the murder of a gay teen by his father, that sent a shockwave throughout Turkey.

Another banner read ‘I asked Zeki Müren, who told me to resist,’ in memory of the legendary and flamboyant crossdressing Turkish singer who became famous during the 1950s, according to the daily Hürriyet.

The organizers of Istanbul pride, now in its 21st year, say the event highlighted the fact that ‘in a society where we are deemed sick, deviant, immoral and the culprit by the state authorities, we have formed a voice demanding resistance.’

Ömer Akpınar, spokesperson for KAOS GL told Gay Star News that ‘social media comments indicate the most popular slogan of participants was: "Where are you, my dear? Here I am, darling!”

‘The language used in the banners and slogans was really subversive when you think of the very militarist culture of Turkey.

‘This year "hormoned tomatoes awards" were given to public figures who were particularly homophobic and transphobic.

‘Family groups were also there to give support to their LGBT kids, and for the first time, LGBT pride parades were organized in Izmir and Antalya, yesterday.’

Deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), including Binnaz Toprak, who recently proposed a parliamentary inquiry into discrimination of the LGBT community, as well as Şafak Pavey, Melda Onur and Hüseyin Aygün participated in the event.

German Greens co-chair Claudia Roth was also among the participants.

LGBT rights groups have previously participated in the protests against the demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which spread across the country throughout June, demanding change to the increasingly authoritarian rule by Turkey’s islamist Freedom and Justice party (AKP). 

See photos of Istanbul Pride by KAOS GL:

Watch a short video here:



No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Marriage equality dinner almost sold out

A charity dinner organised by Australian Marriage Equality to raise money towards the cause has almost sold out
No thumbnail available

Read this homophobic bully’s heartfelt apology letter

Humble, mature, and surprising words from a former school bully: 'I'm here for you now, and want to know that you're perfect just the way you are.'
No thumbnail available

Queer roller derby film seeks crowd-funding

Documentary showcasing the counter-culture craze of queer roller derby in the US seeks $5,000 to finish
No thumbnail available

Man to spend life in prison after being found guilty of anti-gay double murder

A man shot and robbed his victims who were visting Atlanta, Georgia for Black Gay Pride in 2010
No thumbnail available

Nigella Lawson: ‘I’m a gay man in a woman’s body’

TV chef reveals her late husband always considered her to have a real affinity with the LGBTI community
No thumbnail available
Vatican reserves 50 VIP Papal Audience seats for LGBTI travel group

Vatican reserves 50 VIP Papal Audience seats for LGBTI travel group

However, Pope Francis did not publicly acknowledge the group during his audience on Ash Wednesday, despite being only 25 feet away
No thumbnail available

Gay men who could be murdered by ISIS are being told 'they're not worth saving'

International community begged to help stop brutality in Syria
No thumbnail available

Obama uses Twitter to tout LGBT record

Obama takes to Twitter to advertise the LGBT highlights of his administration