Now Reading
Banned Istanbul Pride march goes ahead, confined to one street

Banned Istanbul Pride march goes ahead, confined to one street

A banned LGBTI Pride march in Istanbul has been granted permission to go ahead by police, as long as marchers remain confined to just one street.

Pride Istanbul: Confined, but going ahead. Photo: Andrew Gardner, Amnesty Intl

The Turkish Pride march was banned by the city’s governor’s office, late last week, citing security concerns.

Andrew Gardner of Amnesty International in Turkey told Gay Star News that the organizers of the event had received last minute permission from the police, but only for the crowd to remain in the one street where they had gathered.

Gardner tweeted pictures of crowds gathered in Mis Sokak, a street popular with LGBTI people in Istanbul near the main Taksim Square.

Riot police presence could spell trouble later

Although corralled into one street, the sizeable crowd were loud and noisy and in good spirits. However, the event has only just started and there is a heavy police presence in place. Several people have posted comments on Twitter about minor ‘interventions’ with some marchers and riot police.

German politician and MEP, Terry Reintke, posted a video clip on Twitter saying ‘Despite the tension the atmosphere is amazing.

Last week it issued a statement saying that the ban that the move was discriminatory and illegitimate.

“This march is organized in order to fight against the violence and discrimination fueled by that governorship decision,” the organizer said.

“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.”

Gay pride parades have been banned in Istanbul for the last three years.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but there is widespread hostility to it across Turkish society.

Civil liberties in the mostly muslim country have been tightly controlled by the government following an attempted military coup in July 2016.

More from Gay Star News

Activists free after arrest at Istanbul Pride

Istanbul Pride cancelled after threats of violence

Istanbul LGBTI groups will ignore ban and go ahead with Pride march