ISTANBUL: According to local media and an NGO, Turkish police forcibly intervened in an Istanbul Pride march on Sunday and detained more than 150 protesters as well as a photographer.
The march around Taksim Square in the centre of Istanbul had been forbidden by the governor’s office, but demonstrators assembled there earlier than expected under strong police protection.
Protesters were arrested by police and put into buses. The principal photographer of this news agency, Bulent Kilic, who was shackled from the rear, was among the people who had been kept in four buses that journalists observed.
Kilic was in police custody; he had previously been arrested during the Pride march the previous year. In spite of the police, hundreds of demonstrators waved rainbow flags as they continued the event.
They shouted, “The future is queer.” We are present. We are queer. We won’t be moving at all. More than 150 Pride attendees and LGBTQ activists were imprisoned, according to the Kaos GL Association, which works to protect the human rights of LGBTQ persons. In the western city of Izmir, the organisation said eight additional people had been arrested. Journalists claim that police barred them from filming the arrests.
Milena Buyum of Amnesty International stated that “all individuals jailed merely for their participation in Pride must be released promptly and unconditionally.” Student at a university, Diren, 22, denounced the hate crimes committed against LGBTQ individuals.