Sunday, June 26, 2022

Over 200 detained in defiant Istanbul Pride march

Turkish police broke up the crowd gathered for the Pride march in Istanbul, arresting dozens, including journalists in an alleged attempt at preventing them from recording the event.

Even before the rally began, riot police raided several bars in the Cihangir district near Taksim and arrested people "at random", including a press photographer.

Bülent Kilic, a veteran award-winning photographer with experience in conflict zones, was handcuffed behind his back, his shirt torn off, and taken away with others in a police van. He had already been arrested last year under the same circumstances.

The arrests came after the authorities issued a seven-day ban on gatherings "in open and closed spaces" leading up to Sunday in an attempt to prevent the Pride march from taking place.

Earlier in May, Turkish police in Istanbul arrested dozens LGBTQ activists who gathered to celebrate the beginning of Pride month. The activist claimed they were "tortured" and published images of heavily bruised wrists and legs.

After a spectacular march in 2014 of more than 100,000 people in Istanbul, the Turkish authorities have banned it year after year, officially for security reasons. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the country's LGBTQ activists in the past, likening them to vandals.

We are here, Erdogan, and we are not going anywhere!

“The future is queer. We are here. We are queer. 
We are not going anywhere,” protesters chanted

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