Istanbul Pride marches kissing

Istanbul Pride, banned by the Turkish government

Over 350 people have been released after being arrested at Istanbul Pride, which had been banned by the Turkish government. 

The Ankara-based LGBTQ+ rights group Kaos GL said Police attacked the İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride March. 373 LGBTI+ activists were detained and they were released after a night in custody,” the group tweeted.

Istanbul Pride organizers released a statement after this year’s ban was announced. “This decision is illegal and we would like to inform you that we will use all our rights and make the necessary objections. We would like to thank our entire network of lawyers and venues that have supported us. We won’t give up, we are not afraid!” the organizers said, Balkan Insightreports.

Police had closed off streets and subway stations around the districts to stop any participants from gathering. However, several hundred still were able to organize.

Journalists were prevented by police from filming the arrests of the marchers, according to Agence France-Presse. 

For several years now, the Turkish government has begun targeting the LGBTQ+ community, even though same-sex sexual activity isn’t illegal in the country. Various local governments have also banned Pride events in cities and universities, and many have been arrested over participating in the forbidden marches.

Authorities have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse participants in recent Istanbul Prides.

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