Istanbul’s LGBTI groups will risk attacks and go ahead with a Pride march tomorrow (1 July).
Turkey’s governors banned the march, citing security concerns.
However, organizers have said the ban on the march was discriminatory and illegitimate.
Istanbul Pride organizers will go ahead with the event
‘This march is organized in order to fight against the violence and discrimination fueled by that governorship decision,’ the organizers said on Facebook.
‘We would like to inform the press and the public that we will go ahead with our prideful march with the same ambition as we had before.’
Pride in Turkey has been banned for the past three years.
Far-right Nazi groups have repeatedly informed the state they will ‘intervene’ if the march takes place.
‘Dear state officials: do not make us deal with these. Either you do what is needed or we will do it. We are ready to take any risks; we will directly prevent the march from happening,’ neo-Nazi leader, Kursat Mican, has previously said.
Istanbul Pride is ‘biggest Pride’ in a Muslim country
The last time it was allowed to go ahead, in 2014, it was the biggest Pride in a Muslim country.
Sadi Guran, a gay artist and illustrator based in Istanbul, created this year’s Gay Star News Pride bags. If you’re in London today (30 June), you can pick one up at the Pride in London pop-up shop.
He said: ‘The current situation and oppression here pushes me even more to create homoerotic art to raise visibility.
‘When I was asked to make art for Pride, it meant the world to me.
‘The idea behind my design comes from my belief in that the core beauty of human kind is in its diversity. And when we get together despite all our differences, we create magic.’