As we celebrate a huge marriage equality victory in this nation, others are still fighting the fight just to assemble. There is not much to report as of now, except for the disbursement of Pride goers. Let's pay attention these next few days to see what Istanbul will say about the event if anything.
Turkish riot police dispersed a Gay Pride event on Sunday using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, the 13th Istanbul LGBTi Pride Parade was initially approved to take place but then unexpectedly banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office, which cited the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan as the reason for the cancellation.
Thousands of people had gathered at the event in Istanbul’s Istiklal Street and began to chant slogans denouncing the “fascism” of the regime under the Islamic-conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after which police moved in.
There were no initial reports of injuries or arrests during the clashes.
US pop artist Lady Gaga posted a message on her Twitter account, apparently directed at the Governor of Istanbul, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, calling on him to end the violence and let the march continue. – timesofisrael.com
A press statement from the 2015 Istanbul LGBTi Pride March was as follows:
Greetings to all those who have embraced our path as their path, our struggle as their struggle! The 2015 Istanbul LGBTI Pride March has been banned at the last minute and without prior notice by the Istanbul Governorship on account of Ramadan. The police have attacked the participants, which was expected to be approximately 100,000 people, with pepper gas, rubber bullets and TOMAs [militarized police vehicles commonly deployed against civilian activists and protesters -Trans.]. With our self-respect at stake, we resisted. We resisted with our dances, our songs and our love! Love will win! – lgbtinewsturkey.com
Video evidence of the police activity has been pouring in. I think the worst visual from this whole atrocity can be found in the tweet below (press the play icon). The video, the shortest I will share is the most emotional and upsetting to watch. It made me tear up.
Here are some other videos that have come in from Sunday's unfortunate occurrence.
I am not sure what there is we can do if anything. Our hearts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters and hope forward progression can take place. When incidents like these happen, does it lead to public sympathy or public cheers? I guess it depends on what side of the rainbow flag you are on.
Here are some other pictures from the violence in Instanbul. As always, you can click any image to see a larger version.