Turkey bans Istanbul Pride, organizers vow to march anyway

ISTANBUL - Turkish authorities announced Saturday they will not allow the Istanbul Pride march to take place on Sunday - the third year in a row the celebration has been banned.

City authorities also urged citizens to ignore calls to participate in the parade and to abide by the security forces' warning.

"It's incredible that we are going to New York City to march in a Pride march with New York Police Department and our brothers and sisters from across North America".

This week, like previous year, ultra-nationalist and conservative groups said they would not allow the Pride march to take place even if the authorities allowed it. LGBTI activists said the ban legitimizes threats and hate speech under the guise of protecting the public's "sensitivities". We will not allow them to walk, ' Kürşat Mican, the group's head in Istanbul, said on KRT TV. For several years, Pride Week in Istanbul attr.

The last time the march was permitted, in 2014, it attracted up to 100,000 participants, making it one of largest gatherings for LGBTI rights in the Muslim world.

The volunteer-organized Pride committee said the ban violates domestic and worldwide law limiting the right to peaceful assembly.

The city government also said "very serious reactions by different segments of society" were raised against the march.

Organizers in NY and San Francisco have also reportedly devised protests against Pride events, which are scheduled to kick off on Saturday in both cities, in revolt of the "whitewashed" corporate infrastructure that has seemingly placed priority on white gay males while leaving the struggles experienced by black and brown LGBTQ people in the shadows.

In 2015, police broke up the parade with tear gas and a water cannon after organizers said they were refused permission because it coincided with the holy month of Ramadan. Sunday's planned march coincides with the Eid holiday, marking the end of a month of Ramadan fasting.

"It's wonderful more gay families are being shown on TV ads, but there's still a long way to go when you consider the proliferation of BAME characters and also the lack of gender equality in board rooms", he said.

Lawyer and LGBT activist Levent Piskin said calling a march was "not a crime" but added that the situation was gradually deteriorating for LGBT people in Turkey.

France is under a state of emergency due to last until November 2017 and Paris is on security alert for the duration of the demonstration.

  • Larry Hoffman