Tuesday 20 August 2019

Istanbul Pride parade tear-gassed by police

 

Riot police prevent LGBT rights activists from marching. Photo: Reuters/Murad Sezer
Riot police prevent LGBT rights activists from marching. Photo: Reuters/Murad Sezer

Leila Molana-Allen

Gay rights activists and LGBT groups were targeted with tear gas by police yesterday as they walked in the Istanbul Pride parade.

Participants had defied authorities to march after the event was banned.

Several hundred people gathered on a side street of Istanbul's main pedestrian street, Istiklal Avenue, near Taksim Square, after the event was banned from the main street.

Waving rainbow flags, protesters chanted: "We will not be quiet", and "Shoulder to shoulder against fascism".

Police allowed the rally organisers to make a short speech to the media, but then blocked off the street and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Police dogs and water cannon vehicles were also brought to the scene.

The Istanbul governor's office had banned the event for the fifth year in a row, citing concerns over security and public order.

The governors of other regions in Turkey also banned all planned Pride events earlier in June.

Ekrem Imamoglu, Istanbul's newly elected mayor, said any group should be free to protest so long as demonstrations did not disturb the peace.

Marches were held every year from 2003 to 2014. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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