Istanbul Pride will not take place on June 26 as intended after the governate cancelled it following threats of violence.
Hardline groups said they would do ‘what is necessary’ to prevent pride from taking place.
On Tuesday, nationalist youth group Alperen Hearths, linked to the far-right group Great Union Party (BBP), said they would ‘intervene’ if the march took 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,’ its provincial head, Kursat Mican, said.
The Pride organizers have gone to Facebook to express outrage over the decision, announced today, saying it is a ‘flagrant violation of the constitution and the law’.
They say it violates the duty of the governate to protect the rights of citizens.
Pride events were due to take place during this coming week, culminating in a march on Sunday.
The event has taken place 12 times before and usually attracts thousands of people, making it the largest Pride in a Muslim country. Last year it was also cancelled, just hours before it was due to take place.
Turkey is on high alert after a spat of terrorist attacks over the last year.
While it is legal to be gay in the country, LGBT people frequently report being verbally and physically abused, and targeted for their sexuality. The march would’ve taken place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.