Police officers used tear gas, dogs, and batons to split up people participating in Istanbul’s 16th Anuual Pride March this Sunday.
Despite the march going on for more than a decade, Istanbul’s governor banned the march for the fourth consecutive year. Last year, the governor cited concerns about “public order” and the “security of citizens and tourists” after an ultranationalist group threatened the march.
That said, it is illegal for the governor to ban the march no matter what his public excuse is.
"The governor has once again committed a crime by discriminating against a specific part of society,” said Amnesty International, “Peacefully gathering and marching are rights under domestic and international laws that the governor of Istanbul must uphold.”
As such, thousands showed up to the march anyway. Police permitted the reading of a statement by march organizers, which said, “We do not recognize this ban.”
In addition, several march participants chanted, "We do not obey, we do not shut up, we are not afraid.”
Unfortunately, police officers used the earlier mentioned violent methods to push marchers back as they proceeded. Some that were affected by the tear gas washed their faces while others ran into nearby buildings.
While homosexuality is legal in Turkey, there’s still a strong sense of homophobia in the country. In addition, the Turkish government has been ridiculed for not protecting its citizens and updating law to give minorities discrimination protections.